The number of dissatisfied citizens united under the "Occupy" banner continues to grow. It started with a small group in a nondescript park in New York City and has mushroomed to outposts in cities, towns and villages across the globe. The question that everyone is asking and no one in particular is answering is "what do they want."
It's sort of like one of those hostage situations in a movie. We just need to hear a list of concrete demands from the "kidnappers" and then the people in charge can decide whether the best course of action is to give them something to free the hostages or storm the building with guns blazing. Either way, crisis solved and we all get to go home and return to our regular lives.
The problem here is that there is no list of concrete demands, there is no simple solution and we don't get to return to our regular lives.
What the people in the "Occupy" movement innately know but don't necessary articulate is that the system is broken and can't be repaired.
People are voicing their frustration -- there's constant talk of the vast inequality in capitalism between the 1 percent and 99 percent, the destruction of the environment, the failure of governments to represent the people in any true way, etc., etc. The list of grievances goes on and on.
All of these complaints are valid but really they're just symptoms that point to a much bigger problem.
The old ways of operating are no longer working. In fact, they're failing miserably. There are no fixes, quick or long term. We're way past the tipping point and there's no turning back. Things are going to continually get bad until enough people are willing to acknowledge that we need to change to a whole new way of being.
Here's the good news: We already have everything we need to make the change. Enough of us just need to stop sleepwalking and WAKE UP.
We need to move from a fear-based unconscious way of living to a love-based conscious way of living. This is not to say "grab the tambourine and start singing Kumbaya." It's the basic idea that we're now living in a world where fear (often in the form of anger, greed, power, hatred and violence) is the primary motivator for people's behavior. A system based on fear is one where each individual, or group of united individuals, is acting in opposition against everyone else. It's a limited resources, survival of the fittest, paradigm where a small number of people seemingly flourish while the majority suffer. As the "Occupy" movement so vehemently points out, this way of being is patently unjust and all signs around us show that it ultimately can't sustain itself.
As a group, we need to consciously move toward a world where love (often in the form of joy, charity, equality, empathy and peace) becomes the primary motivator for people's behavior. A system based on love is one where individuals are consciously aware that we're all connected in innumerable ways and that everything an individual does, thinks and feels impacts everyone and everything around them. It's a one for all, all for one paradigm where the vast majority of people can live a more fulfilling life.
Groups like the "Occupy" movement are promising signs that we're headed in the right direction. The question is not "what do they want" but "what do we want." Ultimately, it's up to each individual to make the transition from fear to love. The call to WAKE UP is getting louder and louder and we all have the opportunity to answer it.
Steve Hutensky is producer of the documentary film WAKE UP, which has been on a country-wide screening tour and inspiring people to make a shift in their lives. For more information, go to http://wakeupthefilm.com/.