“I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate–it is apathy. It is not giving a damn.” ~Leo Passacaglia
Frankly, I don’t give a damn about the Occupy Movement. Does this shock you? If you were remotely like me, (poor thing) this statement would ring true as your own circle of life goes on day by day. In addition, George Orwell’s words would describe you perfectly as it does for me:
“The ordinary man (woman) is passive, within a narrow circle, home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics, he feels himself master of his fate. But otherwise he simply lies down an lets things happen to him.”
When I heard about the Occupy Movement a year ago on September 17, 2011, my first thought was, “Well, some people are protesting in New York City…big deal. What cannot be seen is easily dismissed. Leave me to enjoy my simple comfortable life on the couch with my laptop.”
Perhaps if the Occupy Movement started, for example, in front of the town courthouse building down the street from my house, I may be able to comprehend exactly what this “leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions” is trying to carry out.
Occupy Wall Street Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So, it takes a Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap for me to discover the shameful apathy that is so part of me. Shameful, because I have been known to say how grateful I am to call America my home. I am grateful for all the privileges that come with being an American…grateful for the freedom to worship, freedom of speech and freedom to decide my destiny.
As I researched to prepare for this challenge, I discovered the following interesting facts about the Occupy Movement. (At this time, I would like to let you know, if any of my findings below are incorrect in any way, please let me know. As some of you know, I sucked when it came to book learning. Thanks.)
A brief glimpse into the Occupy Movement:
- Initiated on September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, New York.
- The movement “spread to 100 cities in the United States and now has global actions in over 1,500 cities.
- The activists believe that the only solution is world revolution.
- The movement consists of the 99% who no longer want to “tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.”
- The use of non violence methods to “maximize the safety of all participants and achieve success.”
- It is “people-powered.”
- Major banks and multinational corporations are corrosive to Wall Street and the democratic process; both brought our nation into an economic collapse creating the “greatest recession in generations.”
Wow! Since I am not part of the 1%, I think I can support the 99% who no longer want the 1% controlling and making all the decisions. In addition, what is wrong with peaceful demonstrations to bring about positive changes in our society?
My life as an apathetic couch potato is over. I do not want to be indifferent. I think participants who support the Occupy Movement to seek a change for a better world is far better than the placid, “ordinary” apathetic participant I formally chose to live as.
As George Bernard Shaw wrote, “The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.”
Ugh, what a sin to carry around…the sin of indifference. The only solution I can see for a better tomorrow is to stop spreading apathy, like my former self, and discover the good works to be found in local and global peaceful movements such as the Occupy Movement.
“Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all–the apathy of human beings.” ~Helen Keller
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Other references: OccupyWallSt.org
As I made a promise to myself to write on as many Weekly Writing Challenges, this post is my attempt to answer the question: What does the Occupy Movement mean to you? Yes, as you may have guessed, the topic was way out of my usual comfort zone. Check out far more creative writers for this challenge down below: