Earlier tonight, I was on the periphery of a twitter conversation between one of my friends and someone participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement. As it is election season, one of my friend’s followers had gone down to one of the protest sites to hand out voter registration forms. I thought that was pretty clever, myself; but, the OWS’er was not amused by her comment about refusing to be reduced to a percentage.
I asked, quite politely, I thought, what the goal of the protestors is…what are they trying to accomplish.
I was directed to his MySpace (!) page with the message that “this is an ongoing project because OWS history is being made every day.”
Curious, I clicked over to his page. This is a fifty year old man, ranting about the thuggish corporate fraternity & sorority members and the Stasi-like police. I’m sorry, but reading through several of his posts, I still never saw any ideas for change, or suggestions to solve the problem. What history, exactly, is being made here?
It’s not that I don’t think that there are those in this country that have made their way in this world with greed and calculation. I’ve worked for large corporations and handled payroll. I have seen first hand what greed looks like, especially when it’s time to hand out bonuses. I also understand that there are people who, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs, their homes, their way of life. I believe that if we can, we should help our neighbors…but, that they have to help themselves, too.
I don’t believe that you are going to affect change by standing in front of a building holding signs or beating on drums. Vote. Start writing letters. Get creative and help to find a solution. Run for office yourself.
In the end, I don’t think that I got an actual answer. I still don’t know exactly what the OWS folks want to happen. “Throw the Bums Out” is great, in theory, but then what?
This is a long way to get to the thing that I am thankful for today. I am thankful for the gift of common sense, which I would like to think that I have at least a small portion of. I recognize that to get anywhere in this world, you have to work. Nobody is going to do it for you. I’m fortunate, in that I am married to a man who has the same work ethic. Neither of us is going to be rich, and we’re not going to be in a position of power. We are simply two middle-class Americans, fortunate in our jobs, our family and our home…the home that we work very hard for. Common sense allows me to recognize that in order to change something in my life or in the world around me, I have to be a force for change. I can make a difference, though I am just one voice. Common sense guides me to understand that I won’t get anything by standing around crying for it.
I am thankful for the freedom of speech that allows me to say what I want to say, to question those things that I do not understand and to voice my disagreement for those things I do not like.
I’m participating in #30daysofThanks, inspired by my friend, Amanda, over at www.memydogsmylife.com. We are finding one thing each day in November to be grateful for. Join in! Just use the tag #30daysofThanks and blog or Tweet your daily item.