The Future – Ours to Lose

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A few days ago was the one month birthday of Occupy Wall Street and so I would like to share a few thoughts with you about the gift that OWS hands to all us who care about economic and social justice.

The gift is the very thing that some, at first, have criticized. The movement is not cohesive except that it stems from a longing for economic justice and is intense enough to draw people to it. 

The movement presents a form of attractive energy that we have been missing for some time and it requires us to suspend disbelief and fear and just get behind it and give voice to what it wants and needs.

I believe that this is a moment when a consciousness has shifted. OWS could—and almost certainly will be—ruined. We are humans and therefore deadly even and sometimes especially to those immediately around us. But this moment is like a platform raised high for us to work quickly from to advance an agenda that adheres to the principles of social equity that must underwrite a healthy democracy. That is your/our job.

And while this moment is very nearly ineffable I would like to provide some guidance through this D.H. Laurence poem which has been taped above my desk for decades – calling me to my better, less cynical self. 

If we went there together it might be less dangerous.

When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego,
and when we escape like squirrels turning in the
cages of our personality
and get into the forests again,
we shall shiver with cold and fright
but things will happen to us
so that we don’t know ourselves.

Cool, unlying life will rush in,
and passion will make our bodies taut with power,
we shall stamp our feet with new power
and old things will fall down,
we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up
like burnt paper.
-D.H. Lawrence

  • Melly017

    I would take time to reflect upon, and discourage the statement of “just get behind it.” Mindless support of movements only breeds futue regret. I don’t discourage the underlying theme of social unity in our society. However, misplaced unity is simply “jumping on the bandwagon” of a few college students with nothing better to do than protest. The poem paints a nice picture. The second to last line is intriguing. It underlines the needs for change in institutions that have outgrown their usefullness or become too narrow minded in their affairs to change appropriately. Perhaps our House and Senate should take note. The writer is correct, this movement will die out. My hope is that it will die out due to the realization that there are other, bigger, more powerful institutions that require significant change. Money is not the problem, only part of the problem. Instead of creating a voice, I would like to see society take some reaponsibility for itself. A character trait much out of practice in our day. From the person on welfare, or unemployment looking to make ends meet, to the people in the middle, and certainly to the people easily able to make ends meet. Take some responsibility. Work ethic, determination and responsibility are the qualities that built this country, and it WILL NOT survive without them.