Last week I wrote about the “next” economy or “gift” economy. This week I’m excited because it seems en masse people are realizing our current economic system is flawed. More than a thousand people have gathered for Occupy Wall St. and similar events are popping up in cities around the United States.
For those of you who don’t know, the movement is the expression of people dissatisfied with being a part of the 99% of the population who are not super wealthy. There is a whole tumblr about it actually. Here is one of the entries:
“I have my health. I have a job. I have no debt, and no dependents. I have a tiny bit of savings and a small retirement fund that I cling to.
But Wall Street is hungry, and our political leaders have shown whose side they are on. Business and government will work together to steal what we have.
I did not get here, to this tiny island of stability, alone. I owe so much to my brothers and sisters who worked hard for the ideals of DEMOCRACY and LIBERTY and FREEDOM.
And I will not stand by, silent, while any of my brothers and sisters falls through the cracks: the sick, the unemployed, and underemployed, the kids who depend on us all.
I will not stand by while the One Percent who have manipulated our social contract to their vast favor leave the rest of us to fend for ourselves.
I will not stand for it.
And I am not alone.
I am the 99%.”
You might be asking, why exactly this inspires me. It’s because about 10 years ago I had a conversation with a classmate, trying to explain why capitalism was a flawed system and she said to me, “If those people worked hard for their money I don’t see why we should limit how much they make. I don’t see why they can’t make as much money as they want because they earned it.” I’m inspired by this Occupy Wall St. protest because it shows me people are becoming more heart centered. They are starting to become more compassionate. They’re starting to see what happens to the homeless man down the street is not ok. I’m inspired because people are starting to care. As a 17-year-old it was hard for me to put into words capitalism doesn’t work because it rewards the greedy and it’s selfish. How on earth could I win the argument if the person I was talking to would respond by saying, “So?”
I love that we’re showing compassion for each other. That people are saying, “Hey, you know, greed is not ok and I won’t stand idly by watching someone gobble up the wealth while the rest of us are fighting for scraps.” I love that we’re wanting to support each other. That we’re wanting to ensure everyone in the world gets their needs met. How AMAZING is that?
I dream of a world where everyone gets their basic needs met. A world where we are all taken care of because we take care of each other. A world where we’re supported. A world where wealth is shared and we show respect and compassion for our fellows. A world where we live more in our hearts than in our heads.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.