A Journalist's Perspective
Here is a blog that I started circulating after receiving more and more questions from people about what Occupy L.A. is all about.
In 2011, an interesting human experience started happening all around the world. Some call it the Occupy Movement. This experience is actually a movement in process. While it is faced with much criticism and ridicule, at it’s core, it is embracing Love and is addressing the growing needs of a global society with hundreds of millions of people in one way or another deeply impacted by an economic crisis not seen in most individuals’ lifetimes and perhaps never experienced before. Never before has there been so many people mobilized like this. In addition to the larger political issues at the core of the movement, the real plight of the poor, mentally ill, and others in desperate need of social services is being brought to the attention of the general public even amidst some publicity slanting it in non-compassionate ways. Most are operating peacefully thus far and even in the United States, polls indicate at least 72% support the movement at its’ core.
This is just the first and a brief overview of my thoughts up to this point. I have visited and participated in the Los Angeles camp in various ways about 30 days now and I want to share with you my first example of how the dialogue in our world is changing.
At Occupy Los Angeles I heard a story that is actually somewhat familiar in the movement around the world. A man obviously with some mental distress suddenly started shouting and screaming his frustrations out loud and getting aggressive with people who attempted to approach him to either talk to him or guide him out of the camp during its’ nightly general assembly one evening. The gentleman that I spoke with said that he attempted to reach out to the man as he often does when situations arise. A woman came up to him and said that she had been talking to him for a couple of days and asked everyone to step back. It wasn’t known what she was calmly saying to him, but a lot of people were observing. Within a few minutes the man wept and then quietly walked away on his own. Of course, you are welcome to interpret that for yourself and I am not going to try to define my opinions in detail, but I have seen similar situations like this at the camp from time to time. I see it as love in action and that is what is really at the core of this movement.
As a journalist, I see how this kind of activity is changing the ways that we talk to each other regardless of who we are. It isn’t a new way really because some people live their lives like this every day (if they are employed social workers, for instance).
This is just the beginning even though there are challenges ahead, but hope and love are truly manifesting themselves even at this moment. The way that more and more people are speaking to each other and strangers speak to strangers is surely an experience that sometimes goes beyond words.