Lois Cordova: Moving Toward A New World – October 26, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Occupy movement to me is a cry from the people of this country, and now from the world, that we exist. Yes, us, people. We exist. Separation of corporation and state is a great beginning. But I see and hear more and deeper discussions going on.

Too long, the poor and getting poorer have not had any voice in the processes that maintain a system that exists for itself, and not for the people, the citizens “the system” ostensibly serves. Top to bottom, local to national to global, we have lost our collective heart.

Money speaks. Money buys politicians and policy and law. “Helping” the poor has become designing one size fits all “programs” where boxes are checked and a path laid out that ends up not accomplishing much, if anything at all.

For instance, the “welfare to work” programs that disregard many obstacles to actually getting and keeping a job, like, where ARE those jobs?  (I worked with this “population” for several years).

There is a built-in assumption any employed individual will “advance” and get raises and health insurance etc. We are told if we work hard we can “succeed.” Why are so many very hardworking folks now without jobs, losing their homes, hungry?

We live in a world where it is somehow OK for our neighbors to be hungry while we all talk about it. It is OK for people to to be houseless while we all talk about it. It is OK to not even have a public restroom while we all talk about it.

It is time to stop talking about it and JUST DO IT.

We finally have an opportunity to change our world into a place where we can all truly live and thrive instead of working 16-hour days in two jobs just to pay the mortgage and the essential bills and keep food on the table.

It is an opportunity to rebuild our communities to places where “it takes a village to raise a child” is not a campaign slogan, but a PRACTICE to which we are all committed.

I truly want to see the day when “we had to fight City Hall just to feed people” is a distant and embarrassing social memory.

I want to see a world where all labor and effort is valued, and where no one is hungry and where there is a safe place to sleep at night for everyone; where I have a say as to how my taxes are spent and that most of those dollars remain in the community in which I live.

I want to see a world where we simply do not ever cut educational funding. Our children are the future. I do not understand scrimping on the education of our children nor in devaluing the teachers who work so hard to educate our children.

I want to see a world where we value and respect one another rather than bicker and fight and focus on our differences and use those to continue to bicker rather than making sure our neighbors are truly OK, regardless of their beliefs or lifestyle.

In the Occupy movement I see a place where everyone has an equal place at the table and bullying is not allowed. No one is “more important” by virtue of what they HAVE. No voice is louder than that of any other.

I see a place where caring about one another is the highest priority. It all begins inside of each of us, of committing to really listening, to a high sense of personal integrity, to caring about one another and not “what can I get out of it?”

I see a place where by being our best selves we realize that I am no stronger than my weakest neighbor. I am only strong when I am PART of a thriving community.

My community cannot thrive unless every last individual does not want for essential human needs.

I am one voice. What I see occurring and want to participate in is a place we amplify each other’s voice and together we are really heard.

There is not hierarchy. There is respect.

Lois Cordova is a participant in Occupy Arcata.