Our guide was sharing the story of the miners life; including the experience of eating lunch in the dark because they wanted to conserve their candlelight. Most miners died before they reached their mid-forties. Today we have so many modern conveniences we barely have to wipe our own butt (as my grandmother used to say). And I am positive there is a Japanese toilet that even takes care of that function now. Yet... we complain.
Don't get me wrong... I am all for workers rights. I hate injustice and the idea that some in our country have so much while so many have so little. At the same time, i get tired of hearing complaints. I feel like action is needed. The problem... how? How to exchange ideas openly... how to listen to others' ideas without judgement.... and especially, how to be heard in general.
So, on the one hand, the Occupy Wall Street movement worries me. I am anxious that heated emotions could lead to violence. At the same time, I am worried it will just be another sound bite for the news and then will get dropped without having a consistent message.
On the other hand, I am glad there is a place for so many different voices to be heard. And, if we could elevate it above complaints I think there would be great power in such a strong outpouring of emotion. With so many people all voicing their concern and frustration, what better platform for dialogue?
The organization No Lables (www.nolabels.org/) seems like a perfect leader for such a conversation. Can you imagine all of those people in one place having access to the many different ideas out there for improving our economy.... being led in an organized, legitimate debate with real thought leaders? All of these disparate thinkers in one area with their own spot for sharing the information they want people to know.
I mean... if we are going to occupy anyplace shouldn't we fill it with more than complaints? Shouldn't we leave it better than we found it; filled with education and ideas and options? Otherwise it is simply like we are sitting in the mine without a candle.