With almost every breath we make decisions. About what to write and what to read. What to believe and what to discard. We follow our “hearts” but vote for political parties who work against our beliefs yet satisfy our materialistic aspirations.
The Occupy Wall Street protests continue to focus ever greater attention on inequality, corruption and greed.It’s a leaderless resistance movement that has spread slowly, but consistently from its base in New York across the US.
But I wonder.
It’s clear that We Are the 99% (after all, how many of the 1% read blogs, tweet or engage with the randomness of humanity that is Twitter?). But what does it take to shift from global recognition to local action? What would it take, from each of us, to go from affinity to sit-in? And more specifically, what are your personal boundaries and what happens when they meet your professional (or even moral) foundations?
I wonder would I (and could you):
Spend a night in the company of uncomfortable strangers under the lost stars
of city streets
Or move beyond the words of a tweet, a post, an anxious tear?
Is there a place I would stand in, sit in, squat in in protest
at the injustice of a world that validates me
Or does it all just seem too hard to bear?
Could I, would I, link arms with those battered by the inequities of time, place,
education and happenstance
Or could I, would I, find my grain of truth
that tastes like yours and smells so sweet?
Would I go so far as to find the words that change the course of time,
that shake, endanger, explode our futures
Or do I fold my white knuckles in against themselves
Breathing stale air and broken promises?
How do we know the sound of history calling?
And how is your call different to mine?
We answer only to the beats of our own hearts
Counting. Changing. Stepping in time.
But in the cold, freshness of spring mornings
it’s not a question of passion.
It’s knowing that your lone voice will be carried in the echoes
of others. Dispossessed and connected. Dissatisfied yet free.
Or perhaps it’s none of these pungent vagaries.
Perhaps, at day’s end, it’s about doing what we must but also what we can.
So would you? Could you?
Or could you not?
Images: Courtesy PaulS