Friday, October 7, 2011

Is This a Repeat?

(via The Guardian)

Some people say Occupy Wall Street is similar to the protests in Egypt. That’s unfortunate. At one time, the US was known as the country of pioneers. We were first and the best at everything. Does this mean we have been converted to “me too?”

When I hear the interviews of the people protesting Wall Street, I see similarities to the protests of the 1960s. While the ‘60s represent a significant time period in US history, the revolution lacked responsibility. It was almost an excuse for being promiscuous and experimental with narcotics. It was all done in the name of being against the system.

So are the Wall Street protests a remake of the ‘60s? Or are they a copy of Egypt and Great Britain? 

The movement, if it can be called one, is revolutionary in many ways. As our social and cultural values change as a nation, it is undeniable that the entities governing them must change, as well. The question remains, however, as to what changes are these protestors seeking and what changes will be in the best interest of the country.

Unless a clearer mission evolves, protestors may not receive anything for their actions.  If a common pattern amongst them does not emerge for whom they have distinguished as the perpetrators – government or corporate America, they may eventually be ignored.

It is rare to find individuals with the laser focus to fulfill their goals. Politics aside, it seems the so-called 1% has the laser focus to get what they want.  If you observe and listen to the protestors, that lack of clarity is apparent in their demonstrations.  What do they want?  The fact that they are protesting shows that there is a personal unhappiness with their lives or careers, and this lack of clarity is a possible cause for this dissatisfaction. It’s reactive, rather than proactive. At the same time, I cannot deny that the fact they are taking action to develop the laser focus for what they want has power. Except, it will be a challenge – they will certainly have to make a commitment, negotiate, and compromise in order to find a new way of thinking that can address everyone’s needs.

There is clearly an opportunity for something unprecedented. However, people have to present what they are committed to and take actions to manifest it.  If they only talk and take actions to support what they don’t want, they will have more of the same.

I know transformation requires responsibility.  Without it, people resort to blame. Once those “Occupiers” can articulate what they stand for and the new future they are declaring, and organize the means to achieve it, we will see the potential for breakthrough change and disruption of the modern corporate world.

This can happen in the same way we saw Dr. Martin Luther King. He stood for something. In Egypt, they also made demands and stood for something. If the Wall Street protestors do not get clear about what they would like to see happen that is not happening, they will follow the fate of the protestors of the ‘60s. If you look closely, some of those people are now part of the 1% on Wall Street.

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