Featured Articles

We are the 100 percent

It doesn't start with toppling the government, bringing down the stock exchange. It starts where you are, in your life. It starts with treating the people in your life as though they all matter, they all have value, they all deserve respect. With knowing that they are no different from you.

 

 

I'm bemused by my reaction to Occupy Wall Street and its offshoots. Based on my history and my red-collar tendencies, I should be thrilled. Excited. Giddy even.

 
But ... I'm not. I'm pleased that the issues of corporate greed and wealth inequity are being brought to the stage. It's about time. I'm pleased that there's some heft, some weight on the side of those who are generally overlooked. I've ranted about these topics for years.
 
And yet ...

Somewhere along the line, I became less interested in who's right and who's wrong, who gets the larger slice and who feels cheated. It's not so important that the result be what I envision, but it is hugely important to me that we put aside the idea that things must be either/or -- right/wrong, winners/losers, moral/corrupt -- and that we enter into conversations without expectations of what we'll hear. Then radical change is possible. Then we can let go of the structures we cling to for support and design something new.
 
From the outside, it feels like Occupy Wall Street is still dedicated to a binary view: us/them. Rich/not rich. Undeserving/deserving. You have too much/what about me? The 99 percent against the 1 percent.
 
I surprise myself by not wanting to wade into this water. I don't want to yell slogans about how you are not me. I don't want that you share with me -- I want all people to have enough. And I want all people to recognize that enough is OK, is ... well ... enough.

Now I get that this world view is unrealistic and utopian. It not only requires a change in the political and corporate structures, it requires a shift in the basic view of the people who live in society. Instead of measuring people's worth by their titles or incomes or bank balances, we'd have to recognize that all people have equal value and are all deserve our respect and our care.
 
Talk about a revolution.
 
I believe, though, that this is possible. I believe it can be achieved, regardless of conditions and inclusive of all circumstances.
 
It doesn't start with toppling the government, bringing down the stock exchange. It starts where you are, in your life. It starts with treating the people in your life as though they all matter, they all have value, they all deserve respect. With knowing that they are no different from you.
 
Starting on that ground, there won't be changes before winter or before the 2012 election. But there will be change.
 
It's all about interdependence. (Bring it on back to Buddha here.) As Elizabeth Warren said in her now-famous quote, no one got rich on their own without workers educated in school systems, and roads, and so on. But no one's living without some benefit from corporations: cell phones, clothes, food brought into cities, electricity, and on. We can't cut off any limb without affecting the whole. And the ills that afflict our society aren't confined to one limb.
 

Occupy your life. Fully. Be part of the 100 percent. And see where it gets us.

For a view of worldwide interdependence, go here

 

Vote for this article to appear in the Recommended list.

Comments

We are the 100%

Good article. You may want to see this. A good message that is consistent with what you've written. Thanks.

WE Are the 100%

Join Occupy Global (www.WEalloccupy.info) by signing the 3 petitions to promote 100% collective consciousness (www.WEare100percent.info) as a WE Party Peace Ambassador (volunteer online mentor) - See Deepak Chopra

)

If OUTSIDE isn't working, try from the INSIDE

I like 'No Us-versus-Them' too. Although acceptance of us all can be a tricky thing. Just when we think we've got it... "From the outside, it feels like Occupy Wall Street is still dedicated to a binary view: us/them." Ah. From the OUTSIDE.
What's happening with the Occupy & 99% movement is a process. It starts somewhere (less than perfect) and moves toward something better. Otherwise few would be interested.
I prefer to look at the movements (begun in the 60s) somewhat like a person in therapy.
The first step is actually getting up the nerve to go and start dredging up the 'ugly' stuff. We saw alot of that in the early social movements of the 60s and all the resistance to it, as well. Very typical of a therapeutic process.
Then you take the dark stuff and begin processing it (70s).
Then you sometimes reach a plateau (80s).
And you can also enter into reaction and regress (90s).
And you reach a new crisis point (the last 10 years) that you can keep putting off, because you don't want to go back and dredge up dark stuff again.
But finally, you do (now).
And having dredged up the chaotic stuff that's keeping us from living our lives, we expose it to the light of day and begin transforming it (which the Occupy & 99% movement is allowing us collectively to do, so we should perhaps be grateful to them).
It's a process. It's less than perfect. We could and should be tolerant and accepting of this from a large scale point of view of the evolution of sentient beings. And since life in this world is about change and evolution, not perfection, I'd like to say, "Be fair" to you, because this generation of activists HAVE learned alot. In the video of peaceful demonstrators at UC Davis being coldly and calculatedly pepper-sprayed there is an ugly voice that starts shouting, "Police are pigs! snakes!..." (not very nice for the beasts in question) and you very clearly hear others silencing him, saying, "NO, no aggression, no us-and-them" in spite of the grim scene they are in the midst of witnessing. Many members of this movement have insisted time and again that in reality there is no "us and them". It is a movement which is noteworthy for the inclusion of varied points of view and approaches. And they're coming up with forms of communication, organization, and operation that are truly innovative and promising for our future. There is a tremendous amount of information on internet soundly attesting to this. Give credit where credit is due.
But if (generic you) only adhere to the image mainstream media is feeding you, if you watch from the OUTSIDE and focus primarily on the instances of binary attitudes and acts, then for you, too, it will remain "Us and Them".
So come on, 100%ers, wade in there and share your thing! There's a place for you! And a need, too.

Thank You

You gave words to my thoughts and feelings. I felt my frustration disssipate, as I just now, felt understood. Thanks for understanding!

Nancy, I love it. Your depth,

Nancy,

I love it. Your depth, the heft of your argument and the style of your writing. Precise and profound.

Thanks you,

Love,

Nandini

Site developed by the IDP and Genalo Designs.