What does the “Occupy” movement mean to me?
I try to read a wide variety of ideas ranging from metaphysics and new age philosophy to the arguments of the far right. Alfred North Whitehead, the famous philosopher noted that their seemed to be two dynamic forces in the universe, novelty (or change) and habit ( or the status quo). In politics novelty leans more towards the left and habit more towards the right. At the end of the day Whitehead observed that there was slightly more novelty than habit. That is there is always change. But what does that mean?
You see many of the “Occupy” people demonstrating against injustices and the need for a better way. There is no plan per se, just an energy. The vast majority of us sympathize with these feelings because we either directly or indirectly are affected. Maybe it will be the collective unconscious which will give rise to a new group of political candidates. Maybe it will be something else.
Yet at the grass roots level it also means in many cases the abrasive realities of economic change. it means we have to batten down the hatches and hone our resourcefulness skills. Years ago I was taking an elective class in graduate school on the techniques of financial analysis. I didn’t learn until it was too late that this was a required course for those getting a Phd. I made a D- on the midterm and the professor called me in and point blank said, “You are not doing the work.” He then said, “I assign two cases a week and I expect you to spend fifteen hours a piece on them.” I was stunned as I was taking several other courses at the same time. But it was clear. Either I rolled up my sleeves and did the work or I was going to flunk our of grad school. I did and passed.
In some sense while the demonstrators are sending energy for change there is also the need to adjust to the reality and make personal changes. Hone a marketable skill. Conserve resources and begin to embrace the skills of self-reliance. If you are a student perhaps learn an avocation that you could be good at. One of my friend’s son helped put himself through law school as a massage therapist. If you are older and have time then learn how to offer your skills on the internet. It may take time, but it will eventually pay off. In one sense we have been swept along on an incoming tide of abundance and for many a wealth of benefits which were never earned primarily because America held the world’s reserve currency and could just keep printing money when needed. But these days are rapidly ending and a call for more resourcefulness is upon us.
As I have been writing I believe that if you are at a loss then the first thing to do is to frame a simple question to the universe delivered with intent- “What Can I Do?” This will start the process. If you stay alert, answers will come and you will be on to the next steps. My recently published book and guidebook deal with just these kinds of decisions. They are available on Amazon in print and Kindle.