Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Occupy...It's About Opportunity

This whole Occupy movement has got me thinking lately.

Mostly, what comes to mind is what I said in this post.

Everything I said in that post about the work I've done is true.

But what I left out, and what I've been thinking about recently, is how amazingly lucky I was to have the opportunities to do the things I talked about.

How many people never even get a chance to get jobs to keep themselves out of debt through school? How many people have the resources necessary to do so well in school? How many people are offered the opportunity to apply for a full-tuition scholarship at a school with an incredibly prestigious program in their chosen field? How many people meet the right person to marry? How many people were in the position to take advantage of the $8,000 homebuyer's tax credit? How many people have health insurance that covers psychotropic medication, or even realize they need it? How many people can afford their medication, even with insurance?

What a lot of people who are "against" the movement don't realize is that life is pure shit for A LOT of people, and often, hard work can get you somewhere, but you've got to be somewhere to begin with.

I have so much. And yes, Scott and I work hard. But I was born in one of the most wonderful, safe countries in the world. This is a place where I have things protecting me and my rights: police, laws, and the right to have guns in my home. I was born to a woman who sacrificed so much to stay home with her kids, to teach them and give them every opportunity to learn possible. As poor as we were, I was born into a situation where I could choose my own destiny. And SO FEW people have that choice. Some people are just born with the short end of the stick, and no matter what they do or how hard they try, they will never be able to turn things around.

I am so thankful for what I have and the experiences I've had, both good and bad (because the crappy stuff teaches you life lessons that, it turns out, come in quite handy).

I realize everyone has different thoughts about the Occupy movement, and I respect that. The last thing I want to do is make a political statement or sweeping generalization that offends people or starts a huge debate. No, thank you! But I felt like I needed to share this. I hope that regardless of your stance on the Occupy movement you take a few minutes now and again to reflect on what all you do have, and be grateful that where you are is infinitely better than where some others have been...or still are, and perhaps always will be.


Anonymous said...

the whole thing to me can be summed up like this.

i once said to someone, wow, it must be nice to have gotten so rich that you forget how lucky you are.

his response: you think this happened because of luck? that proves you don't get it.

people who don't understand that good fortune is just that - FORTUNE - do not understand life. and i think you summed it up perfectly.

Kim said...

Awesome post. People tend to get really defensive about their privilege instead of admitting it and working toward a world where the playing field is a bit more level. There is not one rich person that has worked for every single thing s/he has...each one has had a string of good luck that led them to that point. Yes, hard work is involved, but it's not the only thing.