Making my way to the Boston Harbor Hotel, I found myself suddenly surrounded by the new fashionable style of protesting called “Occupy –insert name of place being occupied here-“. In this instance “Occupy Boston” happened to be huddled into a small public park across the street from South Station and the Federal Reserve building. As I made my way past the encampment of disillusioned youth, I heard announcements about utilizing the “meditation tents” from the “spiritual committee” and what appeared to be a well groomed, corporately-dressed supporter boldly claiming, “we are not so much focused on the demands, but using a real democratic process,” whatever that actually means, or how it is to be accomplished is still to be determined.
Looking around I had to ask myself what was the main objective of this ad-hoc gathering that seemed to have invaded a taxpayer funded public park (which is now completely in shambles, muddied, and the grass almost non-existent as a result of the 50 or so tents amassed within the narrow space). I could not discern any real, or articulated objective to which their protestations had been formed upon. As I continued, pass the bags of garbage that had piled up along the sidewalk, there were cardboard signs that read, “stop the budget cuts,” and, “fight the rich not their wars.” I could not help but wonder why these people, mostly students from hardworking and even some well to do families, have decided to protest soldiers who volunteered to serve and protect our nation in new era of global reality that was shown to us on September 11th 2001. It is most certainly the optimal time for us as Americans to rally together and grow as a nation, but instead these mostly troubled students in the very prime and flower of youth are resorting to their fears rather than their strengths.
The most alarming quality of these protests was the incoherence and lack of organization by these various citizens, many of whom were not even from Boston. There was no cohesive communal funding, the pizza deliveryman was becoming frustrated as the protestors figured out who was to pay for the forty pizzas and with what money; and the chaos continued. Once past the area of the protestors, continuing on my trek to the hotel with the cannabis odor subsiding, thoughts rushed through my head as to what this means for us as a nation. Is wealth being used to undermine the democratic process, as one of the aggrieved shouted into the microphone? Are all the problems we face today the result of a specific type of corporatist philosophy? One sign vividly stood out in my mind long after I witnessed the protest, which read, “The American Dream is in Debt,” but is it really?
These young protestors should take heed to five relative realities of life in respect to their grievances as they sit in these muddied quarters. First, in China the government would never have awarded the permit to protest, nor would their people have time to assemble, as they are busy working two, three, sometimes even four jobs to provide security and comfort for their family and contribute to economic productivity. Second, in order to help the cause of wanting to pay more taxes, find a job first so the government will have a reason to take money from you. Third, when and if you do find a job, realize you will actually have to use some sort of talent or skill so the employer can adequately rationalize why they should pay you money; or in other words, jobs are the result of people being invested in for their capabilities and talents. Fourth, being gender-neutral is not all that it is hyped up to be, or even beneficial for a meaningful and productive society. I do not see how it is insulting for a man to be “classified” as the ‘provider for others’, and the women as ‘nurturers and caregivers’. Of course there is a serious subconscious psychological component I must be missing as to why an individual would feel inferior to someone who provides or to someone who loves well, but again it is probably another corporatist conspiracy (I must have lost that plot). Last but not least, my fifth piece of advice to these protestors is to lose the sense of entitlement, and all the destructive qualities that accompany it. Great achievements are the result of calculated hard work, and not from an incessant complaint to an alleged offender. Do you honestly want to embody the methods of spoiled and disillusioned children? Who can respect that?