I’ve been ruminating over the whole “Occupy Wall Street” (and similarly themed movements/occupations throughout the world) over the last few months. When the movement began I was torn between almost fanatical support and discomfort. It wasn’t the lack of organization (I understand that to be part of the point) or rallying cry (it’s not a protest!) which frustrated me but rather the irony of it all. Here were my fellow Americans who were responding to a very real dichotomy between the haves and the have-nots in this country – folks who have honestly attempted to follow the rules to the American Dream only to find it a mirage – the statistical 99% who in general, broad-sweeping terms STILL live better than the majority of the world.
Don’t misunderstand me. These folks are responding to VERY real problems in our society in regards to social inequity – but it is social inequity within a (generally) first-world context. It would seem to me that the problem needs to be addressed on a MUCH more global scale in order for it to have any integrity. Therefore, paradoxically, if something needs to occur globally – it also needs to occur on an almost micro-local level.
Such as my seat. Or yours, while we’re at it. 😉
This is the square-footage that I can control (to some extent), and it begins with self-awareness of what is actually happening with me and with those around me. I need to fully occupy the space that I am in, mindful of how I am spending my time, talent and material resources. I need to be more deliberate in how I spend my time – allowing for sabbath, mind you – but also making space for prayer, relationships and all those things which are sustainable. I need to choose how I use my talents with a bit more deliberation… and finally, I need to work harder at making choices in regards to the material, paying heed to how my wallet intersects with another’s life.
I need to stop with the excuses. The past can only be the past when it is treated as such. The future depends on my living fully in the present. Very Zen, no?
So here’s my challenge to myself and all within earshot. Occupy YOUR seat. Be mindful. Be fully present. Live sustainably in all areas of life realizing that the world depends upon it.