October 31, 2011

Occupy Everything!

Rob Herron, III
There is nothing like seeing a unified mass of pissed off people overcoming the American traditions of social conditioning and identity illusion to make a statement against oppression. It’s just beautiful and it’s a phenomenon that hasn’t shown itself in this country since maybe the 60’s or 70’s. The “Occupy” movement is truly a rare sight during these days where so many powerful spirits and minds have been suppressed to maintain the status quo. This process is nothing new though, especially recently as we’ve had front row seats to the many revolts that popped up in Middle Eastern and African countries (I’ll come back to these). 

This time in history is clearly indicative of the need for Humanity to rise up and reclaim its authority, and what better platform for this message than America: the self proclaimed world leaders. I think that’s why the “Occupy” protests springing up in every American city have such a massive significance and a purpose that, honestly, could be in danger of being compromised. The protest itself is the movement because it accomplishes the most important thing an oppressed or deceived people must do to kick start change: speaking.

Specifically, purposeful speaking that calls out wrongdoers and helps to clarify the responsibility of the participants moving forward. But as this movement approaches a stage where its growth is exponential and the message can no longer be hidden by media outlets and the overall power structure the territory gets rocky. It’s at this point that unstable movements start to crumble mainly because the opportunists (both within and outside of the protest) start to show up. The things that people need to be most aware of are the always present human instincts to micromanage or provide a comforting distinction to something.
It’s at this point that the demonstrators and organizers whose hearts are immeasurably committed to achieving liberation have to take ownership of the efforts, or someone else less concerned will. There’s an “Occupy Everything” kind of mindset that defines the power structure that we’ve all been forced to adhere to and that attitude comes out particularly when its reign is threatened. It also comes out when it sees the opportunity to corrupt a pure movement of change, they just can’t pass that up.
Now back to the movements in the Middle East and Africa real quick. Many of the corrupt leaders of countries whose people were trying to overthrow them had to have American assistance to get to that oppressive state, but it was the Americans who swooped in to play savior or rather to stake claim in a place and people that are transitioning. The same idea will apply to the “Occupy” movement. There will be an effort to claim our message of freedom.  As a result we need to have an “Occupy Everything” approach too. We have to be of the mindset of reclaiming every right that has been usurped, every promise that has been skipped out on and every speck of truth that has been kept from us. There can’t be an outcome that falls short of that. If this happens we may see a world “Occupied” completely by liberated people. 

Rob Herron is a graduate of the journalism school of University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He freelances at 'The Call' in Kansas City. Rob is the author of the blog 'Just Thoughts.'

October 22, 2011

Civil Society, Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Assembly

Dear readers,

If you haven't connected with an Occupy movement near you I ask that you watch this video. I can't endorse it as *the best* video on the movement but it certainly captures hypocrisy in the form of U.S. international policy and sentiment.

The issues that negatively affect the lives of people around the globe are much broader (e.g., bank bailouts, limiting access to fresh water in developing countries, forced child labor, inadequate healthcare in the U.S., etc.)  than what is presented here but this is a good place to start.

I share this video because it shows, in high-relief, what happens in the “land of the free” when The People exercise free expression and assemble to support each other in the full expression of those ideas.

I’m not asking you to join the movement, just to be knowledgeable about if from the perspective of the Occupiers (news outlets don’t get it). This is an historic, global movement that will affect the lives of everyone.

~Peace and Blessing, Z.

October 18, 2011

Will You Change the World?

Perhaps a month or two before I began blogging I decided to locate several blogs that I find enjoyable which demonstrate best practices (I've grown so tired of what are too often empty catch phrases), which demonstrate a connection with readers and provide a great example of not just well-written posts but also of interaction with readers in a way that makes the time-consuming practice of thoughtful writing worth the effort. I believe that blogging is about exchange, many bloggers do this very well. For my purposes, I found sever blogs that fit this description, one is The Practical Free Spirit authored by Amy Sundberg. With her permission, I share one of her posts here.

Will You Change the World?

High Dy Ran, Toyko
Some people know they can’t change the world. They are beaten and dreary, prone to complaining about things they know they can’t control just for the sake of complaining. The world is a hostile place, and these people are its victims. Nothing will ever be better for them, and nothing will ever change. They live in a haze of “can’t,” and therefore they spend their lives in a prison of impossibilities, devoid of hope.

Some people hope they can change the world. They realize there are a lot of things that could use some changing, and that many of the needed changes are on such a large scale they can’t even begin to fathom how they could make a difference. So instead they focus on what they can change. Sometimes these people start out small, with a smile or a twenty buck donation, or by educating themselves further so they gain a greater understanding of the world around them. These people understand that affecting one other person can have a ripple effect, therefore giving their actions meaning.

Amy Sundberg
Some people think they can change the world. They have big ideas and even bigger dreams, and when they speak about these ideas, a certain brightness creeps over their features, serving as a beacon in the long, cold night of apathy. Not only do they have ideas, but they act upon them. They tend to try many things, and sometimes they fail. We might expect them to slink away after such failure, but inevitably they brush themselves off and either tackle the problem from a new direction or find another problem to address.

Some people are changing the world. Are you one of them? Do you want to be?

No doubt, building an audience took a great deal of time for the bloggers that I admire. We write because I must. We blog because I want to discuss. It's in the exchange that growth happens. It is our non-violent way of changing the world.
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