A friend of ours suggested we might share about the Occupy Movement that has been happening around the globe. For anyone out there who has not heard about it, I suggest googling it!
On the surface, it seems like a noble movement, and people from many widely differing philosophical and spiritual perspectives have been able to at least TRY to set aside their differences and begin to work on their common goal in the movement. This much is very commendable.
It sounds like a good thing to encourage people to come together as the “99%” and demand better jobs and working conditions from the “1%” who are in control of the wealth.
But…at the risk of offending at least 98.99% of the 99ers, we would have to share an entirely different motivation.
If it’s not clear by now from other posts we have added here, we don’t believe this will really solve anything. Greed is what causes people to hoard what they possess, whether that be the billionaires of the world or those of us who don’t know where our next meal will come from. Greed affects all of us, and if we are not actively pursuing ways of destroying the roots of greed within ourselves first, those who are on the bottom will become just like the ones they despise now, the ones with the wealth.
In the major cities here in the U.S., protesters have been sharing eloquently about how they propose we can adjust the sick system. While it may be inspiring to many people who believe we can just “tweak” the corruption of our world,
we would have to agree with the sentiment of the co founder of the Catholic Worker movement (Dorothy Day) when she said: “All of our problems stem from our acceptence of this filthy, rotten system.” Many people who believe strongly in the Occupy Movement would echo Dorothy’s statement, but still fall far short from what WE believe is the real solution, found in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus had the audacity to tell everyone to sell everything they possessed, then give the proceeds to the poor. From what we can gather, this kind of thing is not being shared at the general assemblies of the Occupy movements. People’s usual reaction to this command of Jesus is to dismiss it as an absurd, unrealistic pipe dream. Yet many of the same people who would reject outright this teaching are the same people who actually believe they can talk the 1% of the world’s wealthiest into letting go of their own possessions! Does anyone else see this as a contradiction?
Jesus was well aware that most people would not willingly obey His teachings, which is why He said that the road to true life was a narrow road, while the road that leads to war and greed and destruction was the path that most people would choose. However, by starting off a chain of events by being willing to forsake one’s material possessions and the means for amassing more wealth, He showed us how we could each be instrumental in letting the system of greed simply wither away, by not participating in it, rather than overthrowing it or trying to vote it into changing.
So, how about it folks? Who’s gonna be the first to begin selling their own possessions and giving their own money to the poor? (Luke 12:33; Matthew 28:19-20).
Let the real movement begin!