Occupy Wall Street and the way forward
Another type of ‘climate change’ seems to be taking place
Occupy Wall Street movement spreads to Portland (Photo by: S51438 via Wikimedia)
People have been talking about ‘climate change’ for a while now, from the record-breaking droughts in Texas, to the alarming intensity of typhoons and hurricanes all across the globe, to the overwhelming precipitation the world over.
However, another type of climate change seems to be taking place. It became more pronounced in early 2011 with the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, but has gained momentum and strength in the last couple of months elsewhere. I speak of course, about the “Occupy” movements and “World Revolution Day” spanning the globe.
It seems to be driven by an overall sense of discontent, due in large part to the economic crises every nation has experienced. There is talk about the chasm between Wall Street and Main Street, how 1% of our population controls 99% of the wealth, and so on.
I know when I see the people around me, there does seem to be a general sense of malaise and unhappiness. This got me wondering–if the protesters on Occupy Wall Street and all over got what they asked for, would that be it? Would everyone go home and live happily ever after?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. As the saying goes, ‘if it’s not one thing, it’s another’. People in general are unhappy. While our leaders and the heads of corporations are responsible for the creation and administration of the law and overall health of society, they cannot control our own individual happiness. We can lobby for economic reforms, protest insurance and price gouging, immigration issues, and so on. But the fact of the matter is, people are looking externally for solutions that ultimately, lie within.
We cannot hold others responsible for destiny that we ourselves must go through, even if they are leaders of the free world. Nor can we hold them responsible for the day-to-day happenings in our lives.
What then, is the solution? Only by uplifting ourselves spiritually (as opposed to financially, physically or psychologically – together or individually), can we gain the contentment and happiness that other means fall short of helping us obtain.
Also, over the last few decades, we have seen that no matter who leads us, our situation hasn’t improved. This is because Righteousness is at an all time low. Righteousness is required for good leadership and develops by doing spiritual practice. It benefits both us as individuals and society as a whole.
As we uplift ourselves spiritually by undertaking spiritual practice, we also understand who are best suited to lead us. As a side-effect of society’s overall spiritual ill-health, we are poorly equipped to select leaders who aren’t finally self-serving or who don’t have an agenda to fulfill. Only with spiritual maturity will we know who true leaders are and that, regardless of how we may as individuals prosper or flounder, they are working in the best interests of society.
So while we may make time and allocate energy to Occupy our local municipalities, maybe we could also set aside some time to let Spirituality occupy a space in our lives. Just a thought.
SSRF team member
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