Occupy Ourselves

At some point there comes a time where we  have to realise that the best way to bring about change is by having uncomfortable conversations with our friends and family and by showing that we want to contribute to society not sneer.

Last week, I lost my wallet. What disturbed me most was not the loss of any cash, but being without my driver’s license, bank cards, and Medicare cards. It  felt like I had lost the right to participate in society. Fortunately, as of today, I have gotten replacements of every card (save for Medicare & MEAA, but I have temporary ones) and I feel like I’m back to being a valid member of society.  I also find it sad that it takes rectangular pieces of plastic for me to feel validated.

In flight

That discomfort I felt is what the Occupy protests were about: a world that we have created where people’s sense of self-worth is based upon bank balances and contributions to government. The problem, however, is that a movement meant to help us realise how much we are all alike got hijacked by people who have no interest in furthering any goals beyond their own martyr complex. On twitter, I wondered aloud if anyone who made over $70K a year were asked their opinion on the Occupy protests, and therein resides the problem. Good intentions got railroaded by people who have no vested interest in improving the lot of their fellow citizens. They don’t even make an attempt to adhere to basic societal courtesy and go out of their way to frustrate without trying to at least build bridges of comprehension.

If you told people that the Occupy protests were about trying to make sure that some of the wealth created by corporations was redistributed so that we could all share in it, you’d find very few people disputing it. Yet, what occurred was a group of incoherent people with poor hygiene and incoherent slogans decide to irritate the citizens of a major metropolitan city and have the gall to call themselves “the 99%? ”

No, you’re a several misguided minority.

I do not fault your message, but I have doubts that you even realise what your message was, because if you did, you would realise that you were going out of your way to close minds and not open eyes. You would realise that your unwillingness to work within the realms of the society that we live in (and it’s flawed, but it’s not totalitarian, no matter how much you try to frame it within a pop cultural context) is making you part of that 1%!

I am an US citizen residing fully in a country where I do not have the right to vote. I do not feel censored in any way. I am fully aware that by taking the steps to become an Australian citizen, I will gain a right to vote. That is the framework and I am willing to work within it, because I am still able to get my opinion across. It is truly a shame that in this day and age where everyone can speak their mind, valid societal movements continue to be taken over by those who continue to value society least.


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