Occupy Wall Street. Occupy anything, really.
Just don't be a dick about what your choices are.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you are upset about how people want "handouts" and are handing the economic crises that is upon us ALL by doing things like getting rid of your four-wheeler and boat, know that you and your money are the exception, not the rule, and that your previous middle-class standing may have to do with the fact that you live in the middle of nowhere which means that you are probably living for not very much money at all.
Don't look for the poor to give you a high-five for your sacrifices.
Not that they would. Their hand are full, holding signs that are making points so that we can ALL have better lives.
And I feel that this doesn't mean paving the way for us to gain permission to be shirking our financial duties and responsibilities. This means making getting those obligations getting met to be a realistic goal within a single person's life.
I think that the majority of the people who are against OWS simply can't relate to those who can identify the need and aren't afraid to point it out. There's a fear of poverty that seems to be making these "unrelateables" almost virulently opposed to Occupy, which is sad, because they are so afraid of being touched by the thing that is so in front of their faces, they are sharing breath with it.
I think that a lot of people's successes/not being poor have a huge amount to do with being in the right places at the right times. Those are pluralized because it's important to understand that no person is ever "made" by a single opportunity. And people should not be looked down upon because because they are not "made" by opportunity yet.
Blah blah, make your own opportunities. Yes, I agree. But only to a degree.
I've lived both sides of this that is being fought over. I grew up well. I mean, not with money dripping from the faucets or anything, but water dripping from new faucets in the kitchen, basement, and bathrooms that were re-done one after another.
We didn't budget for things like new shoes, we budgeted for new cars.
We never did without if it was a need.
Wants were another thing altogether. Wants were a 50/50 deal. Half came from us, half from them. I mean, come on. My parents didn't set out to raise a pack of assholes.
We learned the value of the almighty dollar, watching our parents model appropriate spending habits.
Well... except where my dad was concerned. We ALL knew to get him to take us shoe shopping. We could always get AT LEAST two pairs of shoes from him. Once, I even got three. One for Play, one for Dress Up, and one for Sports. I loved all of those shoes with my whole heart, though. That night, I went to sleep with one of each from two of the pairs on my feet, I was so thrilled to have so much newness for my feet. I even got up in the middle of the night to to switch out one of the shoes from the remaining pair so it wouldn't feel left out.
What? I was a weird kid. Deal with it.
MY POINT: My parents were very conscious as a team about where our money went, but luckily for us as kids, after the basics, it also went to fun things like vacations, summer camps, music lessons, etc.
Anyway. After being raised well by my parents, I still magically turned into kind of an asshole, and made some terrible choices. For a fucking WHILE, y'all.
I have been hospitalized multiple times for various things, and gotten pretty substantial surgeries, none of which I have been able to pay for. I have needed to be on food stamps once. I have applied for financial aid for school and used it. I have benefitted from various state agencies to be able to continue living a life that resembles a life at all, though sometimes not. I lived in a park bathroom for a bit, the only place I felt safe sleeping because there was a lock on the door (hey, I said I made bad choices, not that I was an idiot).
I have pulled myself out of all of that dependence on other people's resources, using them to get a hand hold on this life of mine that I lost the direction of due to addiction issues and general assy-ness (see above: kind of an asshole.), and moved forward.
However, every step forward into my own-ness, I have taken has been with the help of someone or something that happened to just be in the right place at the right time.
I live here. In New York City. I work here. In New York City. I love my job, and am really good at it.
I got here with so much help, that alone will humble me for the rest of my life.
I am living my best life, being my best self, and I can barely afford to live. Seriously. It's not a paycheck-to-paycheck situation. It's a maybe-in-three-paychecks situation. Make that four.
I'm lucky enough to have a boss that genuinely cares about me, has a no-bullshit attitude about protecting his employees and hit business, and gets it to his core that the two are related to one another in the twin-ish way. I mean, fraternal, but still.
I struggle every day.
And I know that I am one of the lucky ones.
THAT is fucked up.
Occupy the SHIT out of Wall Street. I'll be there with sandwiches on Saturday.