Paradise is Sharing...

Friday, October 21, 2011

#Self Occupied

Grew up on a Rutabaga Farm.
First day of work was when I was 6 years old.
Worked side-by-side men twice my age, throwing hay bales, hand weeding thousands of tons of rutabagas and pulling them all by hand.
Graduated from High School and put myself through business school while working three jobs.
First car was a piece of crap Subaru
Got married and bought my own house when I was 24. Made mistakes. ALOT of mistakes. Divorced in 2008.
Corporate job downsized in 2009 - job was outsourced out of state. Became self-employed. HAS NEVER BEEN HAPPIER (and I still drive a piece of crap Subaru)

I am #Self Occupied.

If you've spent anytime on Facebook, you've seen the posts of the lone protester, holding up a sheet of paper detailing their lives, declaring their allegiance or non-allegiance to the #Occupy Wall Street protesters. They either label themselves as the 99% or not....

All of this is rather confusing to me. I am not politically astute. I know enough to stay afloat of issues, and to form an opinion for myself, but not enough to defend my views in a debate - so I avoid political conversations altogether. But this Occupy Wall Street argument doesn't seem completely political. There seems to be more conversations about "fairness" and "obligations" than debates on actual political rhetoric. So, here is where I feel I can form an opinion, voice it, and put it out there. Again, if I am rubbing you the wrong way because of my ignorance of the matter - you are right in feeling frustrated that I am not well educated on the debate - but please do not try to school me. Trust me, I find my own truth.

What concerns me about the protesting, is not necessarily the Occupy Wall Street movement itself, but the alarming number of "copy-cat" protests that are popping up all over the place. Case-in-point, there was a group of protesters outside Bank Of America protesting the fact that they are "too big to fail" and got a bail-0ut from the Government. Fair enough, that seems to be a good argument to base a fight on. What I had a problem with was one of the women the TV reporters interviewed said "The people in this building make more than I do..." and went on to complain that she hasn't been able to get her social services because of the budget cuts by LePage. (if I had a story to reference, I would, but I don't and this isn't a formal article, so I am taking the creative license not to quote sources)...

Hey lady - I have to tell you.... those people in that building make more than you because they worked hard to earn that money. They got good grades in high school, they went to college, they applied themselves, they sacrificed time with their families, they climbed the corporate ladder - and guess what - because we live in America, they have the RIGHT to earn more than you! So get over it!

I am sure that this is NOT why people are protesting at Occupy Wall Street (or at least I REALLY hope so) but it really irks me that there are so many people out there with the attitude of "us verses them" when it comes to high earners and low earners. I do not make as much money as I want to make, but it is nice knowing that because I live in a free country - my earning potential is literally UNLIMITED. All I have to do is work hard, apply myself, and I too, can live the American Dream. I can, you can, we all can. There are plenty of "Average Joes'" out there earning LOTS of money.

Now, I know there is a plethora of reasons to be upset with the Government, taxes, and unfair practices right now, but its time that people start taking personal responsibility for themselves. If you are not earning as much money as you would like to earn - work harder, and then give your time to volunteer. If you are not as educated as you would like to be, pick up a book - and then read it to a child. If you feel you are being treated unfairly, treat others the way you want to be treated. If you feel like the world is full of greed, give more.

I have decided I am starting a movement. So far, it's just me and Lexi, but anyone else can join. It's called #Self Occupied. It's simple to join, there is no place to meet and no posters to make (although if you REALLY want to break out the glue and glitter, be my guest)... there is nothing to protest, nothing to be angry at, no fingers to point, and you are not a number. You do not have to camp outside for days on end, and you can continue to go to your job every day. You are not a label, stereotype, and you are not limited in anyway. Your earning power, potential and creativity is limitless.

To get started, first you have to pledge that you will take 100% responsibility for yourself. It is no one elses fault if you are unhappy or dissatisfied. It is no one elses fault you are lonely, in debt, are overweight, or any other thing that is less than optimal for you. You may have found someone else to shoulder the blame - your spouse, your parents, your boss, your Government, your God....but in order to be #Self Occupied, you need to take that burden back and put it squarely on your shoulders. Once you have acknowledged there is no one else to blame for you being in the place you are..... forgive yourself.

Step two is to realize that every thing you do - everything - is a choice. You choose to be happy. You choose to be abundant. You choose to be grateful. You choose to suffer. Yes, you choose to suffer. Think long and hard about that. Then think about who you would be if you chose something besides suffering. What if you chose joy, gratitude, forgiveness, empathy or compassion instead? What kind of person would you be? Are you willing to be that person? Are you ready to be that person? What does choosing suffering allow you to continue to do?

And finally the last step to join the #Occupy Self movement is to practice kindness. Start yourself and radiate out like the ripple effect of a pebble cast into a pond.... be kind every chance you can. When you think you can't possibly be kind in a situation, find a way. There is always a way to be kind, whether it is to yourself, to another, spoken, or unspoken. Just be kind.

If anyone would like to throw a buck or two towards my organization, heck... I'm a capitalist, I'll take it... but I'd rather see you give it to your favorite charity.

Be the change you want to see in the world... Ghandi

1 comment:

  1. Do you know what? Your words make a lot of sense. And your words are true.
    Well said.



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