Like many of you, I am observing the #OccupyWallStreet (or #OWS) movement with great interest. I have heard several political and sociological commentators agree that, despite obvious philosophical differences between various political movements today, they all have one thing in common: dissatisfaction and anger with the status quo.
Last week, I read in a local paper that the #OccupyCLT leaders have opened a bank account and obtained a tax id number. As a small business owner, I'm all for formalizing activities where money is involved, and I'm glad they are legitimizing their efforts from a business and financial perspective. But as I watch #OWS unfold, I'm not seeing enough emphasis placed on the individual's unique power to achieve financial well being.
Things Over Which We Have Little Control Are Kind Of Gloomy
National governments worldwide are in disarray. Greece is about to go bankrupt. A leader who has corrupted a country (not to mention an entire geographic region) for decades was murdered last week, and I saw it, thanks to someone's smart phone.
State and local governments are in a pinch too. My kids's school got funding to hire my daughter's 4th grade teacher the day before school started. And they just got funding last week to hire a new 2nd grade teacher so they could split my son's class in two. And my hyper-local government (a “village”) just started enforcing an annual home office business fee that I didn't know about and they didn't track for the first five years I ran my business here.
At all levels, the people with the most power, influence and responsibility seem inadequate in the face of having to juggle so many different balls at once.
(Too bad more of them are not mothers. (Ooops, did I just say that?))
But What About What We Can Control?
The most disturbing part of #OWS to me so far is the fact that the movement is demonizing the act of acquiring wealth. As the owner of a profitable (and fun!) business for 11 years (soon to be 12), I disagree with that mindset.
Occupy Your Home Office (or #OccupyYourHomeOffice)
I think we should encourage each other to achieve as much as we can achieve in all areas of our lives — personal fulfillment, relationship satisfaction, contribution to community, spiritual and physical health, and financial wealth. I think we should pursue all of those things as individuals and on a corporate and community basis.
And today, everyone can pursue them all in relative comfort. Just #OccupyYourHomeOffice more than you #OWS. That will do more than anything else, in the long run, to turn this dreadful economic situation around.
Create Some Wealth Of Your Own
Instead of beating the dead horse about the guilty wealthy people (and there are lots of them), why not focus on creating some honest wealth of your own?
Wouldn't it be better to write your own emancipation proclamation, and bring your friends along with you?
There is nothing wrong with financial wealth. There may be things wrong with how particular people acquire wealth, or with what particular people do with the wealth they acquire. But there is nothing wrong with wealth.
In fact, there is everything right with wealth when it is achieved honestly and fairly, and when it is used to inspire others to achieve as well. Even better when some of that wealth is re-distributed to human beings who do not have the same opportunities we have in America (at least for now) to use our talents, gifts and elbow grease to acquire wealth.
So that's a bit of what I think about #OWS.
Shall We Discuss Further?
To celebrate, and to initiate the discussion, I started a hash tag on Twitter called #occupyyourhomeoffice. ReTweet if you would like to spread the word. And leave comments below if you'd like.
Question: What do you think?