Thank YOU Occupy, Thank YOU Occupy Café

Relief and extreme gratitude for the Occupy Movement this Thanksgiving weekend. Some would say that this movement was long overdue. To that I respond "timing is everything"; the time for OCCUPY was NOW. The WORLD is ready NOW!

I am so very grateful today feeling a shift in this movement -- a "rolling up the sleeves" of many people everywhere because of what Occupy has done by speaking what was unspoken, by inviting others to do the same, by including all the voices, young, old, professionals, blue collar, management, union, etc., by modeling action and courage and not waiting until we have all the answers or a clear plan. The traditional models of leadership, of creating a plan and working the plan, are no longer sufficient or even possible. The global situation we are facing together is far too complex.  How can we ask of the youth or of this movement to have the plan of action, the prioritized issues and all the solutions when so many others cannot see the forest for the trees!

So in the spirit of what Occupy has invited me to do, I am hopeful that through action, with facts on the table, people will feel the pull of purposeful and meaningful work.  Whatever that work looks like, wherever it is happening, in our neighborhoods, in our schools, in our places of work, in the bigger world or in our own midst, if we can all simply focus our efforts on doing good there, feeling less discouraged and isolated, not cynical and oppressed by just knowing that we are not alone. We need not wait... to make little or big changes here and there. Through our example, we can shift the dialogue to one of opportunity and possibility. Yes the problems are great but not impossible. It is through the "doing" that we will quiet the cynicism and the shouting. We will have something to show, one positive step of progress at a time. Time to shift the rhetoric and make space for the positive actions and stories. By responding less to the negative, we will be planting seeds for a new Occupy story to emerge.

What Occupy has done for all of us is "open a global marketplace" (physical spaces and virtual spaces) where issues can be seen, spoken and better understood, where stories can be shared, where facts can emerge, where dialogue can start, where pain can be felt with the compassion of neighbors helping neighbors, where outrage can be expressed if only to create a determination that "what is" can no longer continue and mostly importantly, where people can engage on what matters most to them. They have given us a place to confirm and verify that what we felt under the surface that did not seem right was truly not right. We all knew it could not continue and so many of us felt powerless. Occupy has invited us to our own leadership and the leadership of others around us. They have given us courage to start speaking and acting.

Occupy has helped create a place to start on a GREAT AGENDA for change. We can learn a great deal from our past mistakes though we must now dwell too long in that place, only long enough to have a basic understanding of what it is that needs to be changed and not repeated.  Without this clear picture, albeit a big picture, it was more difficult to drive action that sticks.  Yes we still need to educate ourselves and know the details of what was, in a dispassionate sort of way not to wallow there but to visit there, so we can see the possibilities of the new while letting go the old. It is up to US, those of US who are not on the streets and in the parks to show and share the purposeful work we can do that will show up in all kinds of ways, in all kinds of places.  We are the OCCUPY movement!

Because of OCCUPY, I feel myself wanting to extend invitations to business to engage in being the "great corporate citizens" that they once were. Work is good and should be good; it is so much more than a quarterly profit or some numbers on the stock market. We need to invite leaders and others to peer into the future: at the "new business of business", the new work for a new economy. Generations of young people are waiting to be asked; they have much to contribute; baby boomers are scared and dispirited. It is a match waiting to happen. Much work yet to do!  All it takes is a first step and an opening of space for action inspired conversations.

Thank you Occupy for inspiring and emboldening me and others around me!

Suzanne Daigle, Open Space Facilitator



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