On a golden autumn morning last week, I was dropping off a spare comforter to an Overnight Occupier’s tent. The clear skies meant chilly nights for the 500 souls who occupy in Portland.
As I picked my way between the tents to the sidewalk, a group of middle school-aged children passed as ducklings with a tall, calm-faced man in their lead. I asked the adult if he was their teacher. He said yes. Today he was teaching this social studies class.
Well, what an awesome teacher! On a beautiful day he takes the students outside to learn.
Then came that old chestnut, as he asked me. “What do you want? Why are you doing this?”
I issued the mantra of Autonomous Individual Disclaimer. I then invited to the teacher to explain autonomous to his students. This gave me a beat to get a feel for his take on the Occupation and a moment to think.
He did a nice job explaining, short and accurate. The kids attended him so closely that I knew they had very sensitive B.S. meters running. I took a deep breathe and launched, aware that my audience was discriminating.
I said that all of us here have different reasons, as in all the 1,300 Occupations world wide. But we came together because we discovered that the reasons we all had that might be from the same causes.
We saw greed. Corporations, that were supposed to work for us by making things we could use and want, put greed above humanity. We wanted less greed and violence in the world.
All eyes turned to me, looking in to measure the level of truth in my words. Eyes bore right through me. In those young and sharp minds, I was under the scrutiny of youth, that undeniable litmus of self-honesty. I could feel the court and justice of heaven and humanity looking into my very soul for its defense.
No on can control anyone else, I told them. It is up to each one of us to find the greed and violence inside ourselves, and not spread that in the world. If we are less greedy and violent, then the world is so also.
I sensed twenty-odd antennas go up and tune in. It was then I knew that what we are doing is not about us. It is about them, the next generation.
Will the there be a world without artificial scarcity and built on sustainable practices to fulfill the promises of one world, equanimity in all rights and ubiquitous in all resources?
That is the message of the children to this movement.
by Teresa Boze