"Occupy [enter school name/city/landmark here]

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This is a repost from a post I wrote on my tumblr earlier this week after I had a conversation with my Dad about the recent "Occupy" movements. He wanted to know if there was an "Occupy Westmont" movement, I said yes - but it was a joke. It made me think. And this is what I came to after thinking. 

People stir up other people. They persuade, they talk, they share stories and hopes and dreams, but their goal is to persuade. They want others to join their cause, to join their movement, to flip their mindsets and see things in a new light.

The latest craze is the occupy movements.
And I don't like them.

I don't like protests in general, they make me feel awkward and ungrateful for what I have. But then again, not all protests fall into that category. Sometimes a movement like that is necessary, ie: Civil Rights movement. However, in my opinion - the occupy movement really isn't doing anything other than stirring other people up.

The 1%. The 99%.
Where do I fall?

First of all, this is a HUGE exaggeration. It should really be somewhere along the lines of the 30% and the 70%. Narrowing it down to 1 and 99 makes it extreme. Makes it a lot bigger than we need it to be. And it creates distinct sides.

According to my Dad, with the exaggeration of 1% and 99%, I fall in the 99%. No surprise there. We have a house, we have a steady income, but we are not "upper-class" but we are not "lower-class" either. So why am I not fired up about being in the 99%? Why am I not joining in the Occupy Santa Barbara movement, or the (semi-fake) Occupy Westmont Movement?

Because I don't need to.
I don't need to complain about what I don't have.

I don't need to draw attention to the fact that maybe others have more than me, that perhaps I do wish I had more, and maybe that I sometimes feel like I am at the bottom of the 99%. I don't want to talk about anything like that. I don't need to.

I have everything I need. I live in a country that protects my freedom. I go to a school that I can't afford, but thanks to financial aid (FREE MONEY GIVEN TO ME) I can. I have a part-time job, I make enough to afford nice clothes and buy food, and I have a roof over my head. Why join the occupy movement when I don't need to draw attention to that which I don't have?

Maybe I want a nice car. Maybe I want a car in general. Maybe I want a little extra spending cash. Maybe I need this, or that, or want this, or that - but do I really? No. I don't.

In America, I am the 99%.
In the world, I am the 1%.

Some of the lowest-earning individuals in the US fall into the 1% of the world.

If you can read. If you can write. If you have a car. If you eat food everyday. If you can walk outside and protest. If you can even participate in an Occupy Movement, you fall into the 1% of the world. Perhaps not entirely statistically correct, but then again - the 1% and 99% we go with aren't entirely correct either.

In the US, we are protesting about a greedy government, and the 1%.
In Cairo, Egypt, they are protesting against a totalitarian government.

Which seems more important to you?

In the US, students at UC Davis get tear-gassed in one incident, and the nation is in an uproar. This is not okay - in fact, I was even in an uproar about it. But in Egypt, millions of citizens get tear-gassed at every single protest, many of them dying and their nation isn't in an uproar - they are out protesting with their fellow citizens.

I'm not complaining about what I don't have.
I'm not drawing attention to the fact I am the 99%.
There are people out there who have so, so, much less than us.

Be thankful for what you have this thanksgiving.
They are many out there who wish they could be in your shoes, even if you are the "99%."