Today around the country will be displays of frustration. The OccupyWallStreet movement takes to the streets all over, including my small coastal city. Will I be there? no. Why not? Because I am lucky enough to get the chance to work.
While I understand the frustration and anger & the logic behind (most) of the arguments, I also have too many questions to full on support the movement. I get that the top 1% has the money, power and advantage. What I don’t get is this perception that we the 0ther 99% didn’t hand it over.
We vote DAILY in our lives.
Every single cent makes a statement.
Both in who you choose to work for and where you choose to purchase items from.
I know the arguments. But I can’t find a job. Yes you can. What you aren’t finding is THE JOB that you think you want. Every day I work I contact people to see if they are interested in positions that pay cash & every day I get “no”s. There are jobs. I understand the desire to wait for the one that is right for you & support that decision, but there are jobs. We all feel this need to be over paid, underworked & have it all. Life off the screen doesn’t happen like that. Carrie Bradshaw never would have been able to afford all those shoes directly from the retail shops with the job she claims to have had (did she work? really?). We make choices in who we decide to work for.
We also make choices in where we shop and what we shop for. If we are a nation that connects on iPhones and camps out to get the latest & greatest one, then clearly we are not the ones in need. The news stories I watch show this not the children who are missing meals or the adults who battle with the struggle to decide if it really is worth it to spend the money to get medication or gas for their car. Funny if the 99% really are in dire straights this would be the story we see daily. How many funerals have you been to lately because someone starved or didn’t get the medical care they needed due to cost?
I am blessed.
I have a job, actually a couple. I am not in the 1%.
I get by day to day and honestly sometimes I live on beans & rice instead of take out. I make those choices. Would I prefer to never have to worry about balancing a budget or where the cash is going to come from to pay taxes? Sure, but I am an adult.
The people I work for are amazing. Thankfully this has been the case through a huge part of my life. Profit sharing is a reality. Where I currently work, there is real motivation to help others and to help ourselves make the company be the best it can be and to build relationships- with the people working with us and the companies we serve. I have worked for small business owners who I see struggle & fight to provide insurance coverage that actually covers and still matches 401k in a time where hardly any company still thinks about retirement. Working in a cooperative for a number of years opened my eyes to the idea that the people can own a business and benefit from it meeting their needs. There is an alternative to the “big corporate conglomerates”. It is out there, for as long as we make the choice to support it.
Saying you are broke and have no choice is just thinking with blinders. Don’t believe the hype. We all have choices.
You will ride the horse where it wants to go, or you will take the reigns and steer. Will it be easy? probably not. But YOU decide to make the effort or not.
Shopping at mega-marts because they are cheaper is just short sighted. I have not stepped foot in a wal-mart in YEARS. Yes you read that completely right. YEARS. I do still live in America and make less than many. I am a single adult living alone. Its not easy. Its not fair. But I do it. I don’t believe in their ethics in how they treat their employees and how they cut prices to undercut other companies. So I CHOOSE not to support them. Would it be easier to get stuff cheaper there… yes. But who wins in the long run?
Can I say I always send my money to local or ethical companies, no. But I make that decision and I live knowing I decided. Sometimes the drive thrus are easier to get into for the quick cheap meal than to go have breakfast in a local place. I decide that each morning. I LOVE the days where I choose to support real places, faces and food. I also know that those drive thrus are franchises that are owned locally and employee locally. It helps some, but I still know that local favorites come and go due to lack of support. It pains me to think of all the great ideas and things we are missing out on. Does the standard box experience really add VALUE to that meal?
I can not tell you how many times I have been told how amazing clipping coupons is. The reality is most coupons aren’t for the local products or companies. Most are for specific products by specific big companies. Guess what happens when you choose to use that coupon? They get the sale & their profit is cut, which turn up in their balance sheets somewhere. It may be that they offer less benefits to their staff (including pay). It may be that they decrease the value of the item. How many times have we seen prices raise & sizes going down. There are many reasons for this.
Honestly I know I can’t even discuss the gravity of all the causes and effects in a blog. The fact remains. We CHOOSE. The power lays in our decisions not where we physically are on a day in our designer clothes and holding the poster board we purchased to draw the catch phrase of anger onto. Choose with how you spend money. Remember that money is worthless. We agree it is a way to exchange value and choose to give it power and worth. If cave people found it would they desire it? or just think it was just another strange leaf laying around?
Money is energy.
We burn energy making it and trade it for things we would have spent energy to bring into our lives. When did we forget this? Money IS representation of us. The truest form of democracy.
Today I voice my opinion not by standing in mass. I blog. I decide where to shop, how & for what. I also go to work.
Today when I would love to put on jeans and walk around town taking photos, I will don the black pants of the catering server uniform. I will go serve others on a day they will remember & cherish forever. They made the choice to support a local catering company with great ethics who values their staff. As I do. I love working in this capacity and made the choice to do so today. Today I support local. Today I support my own desires by making time to make money instead of just spending it. Today I am making choices to Occupy my own life in my own way.
So what do you really choose to Occupy? The solutions or the complaints?
Think positively and proactively. Who would you rather be around – someone who constantly complains about life yet doesn’t do anything or someone who recognizes the problems and then WORKS towards the solutions or accepts them as acceptable problems. It is one way or another.
This country has the spark and now has a major opportunity.
Make good choices.
The pay off is yet another O-word: Orgasmic!