Monday, October 10, 2011

Occupy This…

I don’t get it. I could be stupid. If I am, please set me straight. I really do want to understand this...

After seeing the Occupy Wall Street movement in the news for several weeks, I finally decided to look up their website to see what this is all about.

While there are some declarations on the site that I seem to agree with, I’m not really getting the point of the demonstrations. (Technically, I'm a 1%er, too. Which makes me wonder why the celebrities are coming out to they make less than $250,000 per year? I think not...)

What exactly is it that these protesters want Wall Street executives to do?

Whether it's a business or a club, I think every good organization has a mission statement and specific goals. I’m not saying it has to be something carved on a plaque that every member memorizes and can recite at a moment’s notice. But if you’re going to take time off work, leave your home and go protest something, shouldn’t there be a specific, desired end result?

If it’s just to increase awareness, and that is the goal, then it’s a single one time event, right? Not an indefinite stay. You organize the event carefully, raise any necessary funds, communicate about it, have the event, then take the funds you raise to do whatever it was you set out to do in the first place.

I saw a link on the site for monetary donations to be sent because the protesters are running low on food. Wait. You are low on food because you aren’t at your house. There is probably food at your house. You should go there. If you want money to help people who really need food and resources because they have no means to get it, I’ll totally help you out. But if you’ve essentially put your own self into a situation where you have no food or resources, it further makes me doubt the sensibility behind this “movement.”

Plan ahead. Pack some protein bars and fruit and nuts and water and vitamins and toilet paper. Make sure you bring enough to share. But please don’t ask for donations when you don’t have a plan and I don’t know where the money is going, how it’s going to be distributed, who is in charge of the funds and how they’re going to be accounted for later on.

While you gaze up at those pesky (yes, likely overpaid and opulently-living, but also hard-working and enterprising) business executives in their beautiful Wall Street buildings, think about the innovation and careful planning that went into each one of those businesses. And then know...apply some of that planning to your movement.

You’re asking America to “look down and take notice.” I'm looking, but I'm not noticing. Decide what it is that you want Wall Street – and me – to see or do and then get my attention. Please. Thank you.

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