Thursday, February 16, 2012

Occupy & Occupy Nova Scotia (ONS)

Occupy Nova Scotia Banner
If you read my last post than you most likely picked up on the Occupy Nova Scotia (ONS) reference and link I provided. It was not my intention to bring that to light at this time in my blog, however when one is writing with inspiration, one does not always get to choose the way the words present themselves. With such an obvious association to a movement that has been so predominant in the media the last few months I feel its important to share my Occupy with you.

First, I am not the following things and more (this is important or I would not have bothered): anarchist, terrorist, Marxist, communist, socialist, anti-government, anti-establishment, a hacker, an activist, a hacktivist, a hippie, a bum, homeless, uneducated, ignorant, free-loader, lazy, unmotivated or any other label I may have missed that has come to be associated with members of the Occupy movement. I am a human being who has a serious and valid claim of concern about the way the world is run who believes that all people are equal and have the right to the bounties the Earth provides to us. I am not opposed to the idea of government (though I am opposed to the current methods and particularly opposed to my own government). I am also not opposed to an economy based on money but am also quite open to the idea of a resource based economy. The point of this lengthy paragraph is to drive the point home that my actions are not those done with the intention to dismantle the system; I see a gradually increasing reformation of the way we do things now; but that is a separate post. Back to Occupy.

There are many reasons cited for what or why people came to Occupy. These are my own. I have lived a life with many up and downs (which you will come to know through my blogs) and have been blessed/cursed with living as part of many different sub-cultures within our society. I have seen and experienced terrible injustice at the hands of the elite at the expense of the downtrodden. It is both deplorable and soul-crushing. I have watched in disbelief as world governments have become more and more corrupt and less and less secretive about their true motives. I have followed the economies of the world and I have watched while banks and governments rape and pillage the resources of the Earth with completely disregard for the environment and even less for the people.

You do not have to look far, no matter where you are reading this from, to see the effects this has had on the populations of the world. The people of Athens did not burn down 45 buildings on a whim; the American people did not take Wall Street because they had nothing better to do; Mohamed Bouazizi did not light himself afire in Tunisia due to boredom. No, these things are happening because the people of the world are beginning to realize they have been played in a con man's game.

Please do not misinterpret this as conspiracy for it is not. The economic system is written in its own 'language' to which only the very few are privy to its understanding. This economic system varies only little from country to country around the world but what they all have in common is that they are money economies that are created out of debt. That fact alone is evidence. How can you ever repay your debt when all money you earn is earned through debt? However better financially you do in the world today, reciprocally someone else is doing that much worse and when you are doing worse, someone else is gaining. Does that make sense to you? A financial system, that at its very core, requires that some suffer so that others prosper?

I am a human being who believes in empathy and compassion. Empathy is the only natural ability you have to truly understand other people. It allows you to feel what they feel, experience what they experience, see what they see. It is your key to creating long-lasting, meaningful relationships. It is also the cornerstone to the success of any society. Without it, society will inevitably implode upon itself. When, inside a society (not much different than ours), you promote explicitly the importance of the individual idealism you neglect the necessity and needs of the collective which are crucial to the stability of any society (or collective, group, association, etc.). What I am trying to say is that any society that wishes to have any chance of longterm success and sustainability must promote both. That is: "We must hold the collective on the same pedestal as the individual." One is insufficient without the other.

Being part of ONS gave me an opportunity to voice my concern over the growing corruption infecting our political and economic systems. It also gave rise to opportunity to demonstrate to the world at large that a different ideal is both possible and feasible. At Occupy, we created a community based on sustainability through the efforts of all who participated. Some did more, all did some. There are things at which I am more able than you, it is to be expected. The importance of this sort of social interaction, where some do more despite all doing some, is that those with outstanding ability become the teachers and educate with patience and understanding those who were less knowledgeable. It is equally as important that those learning put forth the proper effort required to learn. It was an educational and learning experience for me on a very deep level.

The Medical Tent & Me, Occupy Nova Scotia
In our community, like many communities, we faced many of the same problems our society faces: violence, substance abuse, theft, mental illness. Some of these issues lasted longer than others but they all began to slowly disappear or methods to properly assist were developed. For example, we had volunteer social workers occupying with us to assist with the mentally ill. We also provided assistance to substance abusers (and on a personal note I can report that two individuals came to Occupy as heroin addicts, left clean and are still clean).

Being part of Occupy is something that is not easily explained sometimes. There are so many facets to it and understand that this is but a mere glimpse.There is so much to discuss in regards to Occupy that I could continue this post as a short novel however I will instead, continue to post more in depth talks about my involvement with ONS and what I experienced there. I hope that any misconceptions you may have had about Occupy will be corrected and that you will at the very least come to understand the people of Occupy (even if you are still opposed). I've re-read this and have had to force myself to add no more. Please leave comments, questions or opinions on specifics you might like to know and I will use them in future posts surrounding Occupy as there will be many.