This whole Occupy Wall Street thing has really sucked me in. At first, it was an abstract concept, and I was all, "Go, activists! Get out there and wave some signs." Honestly, I thought it was a tilting-at-windmills type of thing. Now that it has been going on for awhile, I've taken a deeper look, including reading the compelling companion blog, "We are the 99 percent." You'd have to be a cold person, indeed, if you are not moved by story after story of massive student debt, no decent job prospects, the unfulfilled desire to work, the lack of health care, the lack of health care, the lack of health care. I applaud all those brave souls who are sharing their realities in hopes that the collective power of their stories will reach those who can make a difference.
Our government is in such dire straits that I don't look for it to solve all these problems (except for health insurance: shame on those who consider health care a privilege only for those who can afford it). And I think we can't live in the past: Seth Godin, an entrepreneur and writer, is quite clear in documenting that the old way of work is not coming back. The jobs we've lost may be gone for good. That means we have to think different (intentional shout out to Steve Jobs). I've also been reading more about putting our money where our mouths are. Supporting the companies in the stock market means supporting business as usual, which means tacit support of bizarrely outsized pay for CEOs, even if they do a bad job and are fired. What about investing in local businesses? Community banks or credit unions versus multinational banks? Is this the revolution - individuals, one at a time, choosing to take their toys and play elsewhere while increasing their self-sufficiency so that perhaps we may not need the jobs that seem to be gone?
The only thing I know for sure is that game has changed and a lot of people are caught playing by the old rules. No one is looking out for your best interests but you, so you might as well take control. And that means control of your health, too, so you can stay out of the "doctors' pockets," as one of my grandmothers used to say. Also? If you are doing OK and you know people who aren't, there is no better time than now to pay it forward.