It seems there is a lot of eyes and ears tuned to the occupy Wall Street protests these days, and while I’m a champion of our rights and so appreciate them (including our right to protest) this current protest causes me to ponder where we are as a community, nation.
The consensus seems to be against corporate greed or at least perceived greed by large-scale companies. Greed has been around since time began, not to make light of it, and although it has the capacity to destroy, divide and isolate it isn’t something new or unfamiliar.
The danger in my opinion is when mounting social pressure coming from a primarily young and immature component of our population, places emphasis on somehow regulating and perhaps exacting some kind of retribution against said companies through government intervention. Not to say that regulation is bad, but overreaching regulation I believe squashes the foundational entrepreneurial spirit in which this country was founded, and in my opinion what has made us a great nation.
Spending a considerable amount of time overseas in developing areas has broadened my world view and allowed me to truly be thankful for the incredible wealth and opportunity we have here as Americans! No, we aren’t perfect… far from it, however we enjoy freedoms and liberty here like no other place on earth, and often times because we were brought up here, and in particular for those of us who have never really had to sacrifice anything of significance in order to gain or keep these liberties, we often take them for granted.
I realize it would be impractical to ask or expect every citizen of this country to go to a developing nation for even a few weeks, but the corresponding shift at least initially in our social climate would be, in my opinion astronomical! That being said, I would love to challenge the Wall Street protesters. Go live somewhere else for a while so that when you protest it would be balanced with a more realistic world view.
In closing I am so thankful to be living in a place where the fact that staging a protest like this isn’t met with a strong military action. Enjoying our freedom allows our people to express different viewpoints without fear of social or government reprisals, it also comes with a responsibility to show the same tolerance and forbearance to those with opposing ideologies.
Freedom isn’t free.