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Friday, October 14, 2011

I've seen the good side of bad. And the down side of up. And everything between ...

Today's post was meant to be about the upcoming NaNoWriMo, but I went to bed thinking about something and woke up with it still on my mind, so the NaNo post will have to wait.  Instead, this is going to be one of those 'life thoughts' posts I warned you all about.

My Facebook feed, Twitter feed, Google + and every media source has been clogged with the coverage of Occupy Wall Street.  No matter where I turn, it's there, which is probably why I've been thinking about it so much.  On top of all the news stories, I've seen posts from friends and family concerning the '99%' and '53%' and whatever other % they've come up with.  The accusations and comments going back and forth between all these groups makes me sad and angry.

Personally, I agree with a lot of with a lot of what they're all saying.  I've seen the pictures of people holding up signs proclaiming what camp they're in and why.  I started thinking about which camp I would be in and realized I'd be in neither --- and both.

Here's the thing about it.  I'm all for personal responsibility.  Yes, I paid to put myself through school.  Yes, I work to make ends meet and try my best not to live outside our family's means.  No, I don't have credit cards and try to pay everything upfront with cash.  But, if I held up a sign proclaiming all this, I would be a hypocrite, as I'm sure most people would be.

See, taking responsibility for yourself is a wonderful thing, but there are these things called 'circumstances' that tend to be out of our control.  For those who know me personally, you know the financial crisis caused a domino effect that is shaking up things for us now.  Nothing we did to cause it, but we still feel it.

In my town we've witnessed the closing of countless businesses.  At least two of these closings were without warning.  As sad as we were by them no longer being there for us, I can only image what the employees went through when they showed up for work to find they no longer had a job.  Their own personal responsibility had nothing to do with this, but they end up paying for it.

It's not only Wall Street, although they are a major contributor to events taking place now.  I've seen sudden illness wipe out years of savings, even with healthcare in place.  I've seen the unexpected death of someone younger than me leave widows and widowers as single parents facing hardships they could never have foreseen.  This isn't just caused by the war, before anyone suggests I'm being anti-war.  Accidents and illness occur everyday.

At the end of the day, we're all human beings trying to eke out a living.  We all make mistakes and are all trying to do the right thing as we see fit.  For us to accuse other individuals of not pulling their weight or foisting all our problems on Wall Street isn't going to get us anywhere.  I'm by no means defending the corporations and what they've done to contribute to our current mess.  What I am saying is while we should take responsibility for our own actions, before we go attacking friends and family who don't feel the same way we do, we have to remember there are other forces at work.

If you feel like joining a side and writing a sign to post on a website, stop and think if it's possible for you to write a sign for the other side, too.

*Title song lyrics from WHAT IT'S LIKE - Everlast

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