Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wall Street, Halloween & The Tractors of Destiny


We start this entry with a list of links:

This first link is for ANYONE with an account at BANK OF AMERICA, CITIBANK, CHASE or WELLS FARGO. These are the biggest banks in America, the most irresponsible, the ones investing your dollars in things you don't believe in and have no control over. Move your money to a small, local bank if you can, or at least out of these 4 corrupt giants.

Secondly, a basic explanation of what Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is about:
Third, a succinct viewpoint on OWS from a pro-capitalism journalist:

Fourth, an informative word-vomit on an issue a little further into the future (2012):

I feel as though the tractors of my destiny are finally starting to clear a path through the wilderness of options that I have had to contend with in this life. Some of the “why?” questions that have been floating around in my head for a long time have now found comfortable, feel-good answers, and have nested down in the trees of my brain-forest. I have found a motivation that I lacked for many years. I have started to eliminate some possible paths from my future, making the options which are left seem much closer and more attainable. I have begun to know my truth.  And this is the thing that I have been searching for.  A friend wrote me an e-mail recently, and included this quote:

"What I really lack is to be clear in my mind what I am to do, not what I am to know, except in so far as a certain knowledge must precede every action. The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wishes me to do: the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die. ... I certainly do not deny that I still recognize an imperative of knowledge and that through it one can work upon men, but it must be taken up into my life, and that is what I now recognize as the most important thing."
Søren Kierkegaard, Letter to Peter Wilhelm Lund dated August 31, 1835

As I wrote in a previous blog, my mission is now to improve the well-being of all humans into the future. “Oh, is that all?” a friend asked sarcastically. “Don't you think that's what everyone is trying to do?” And the truthful answer is no, I don't. I think most people are trying to improve their own lives, and the lives of those close to them, without hurting anyone else along the way. And some are trying to improve their lives and lives of those closest to them at any cost, regardless of the harm to others. And some are not really trying to do anything but make it from day-to-day without dieing of starvation, going crazy or getting behind on their rent. Most of us don't operate on an “everything is connected, all the time” wavelength, which, in combination with the mindful mission of creating a better existence for future humans, is the mindset change that I hope to spread.
     The other reason that my friend was sarcastic about my stated mission is that she thought it was a little broad in scope. But the deeper I dig into the problems that I want to help fix, the more I realize that the scope has to be huge, because the problems are all inter-connected, just like everything else. Focusing solely on one aspect of what is wrong necessarily means ignoring what it is connected to. Focusing on the symptoms of a sick society will help heal some problems, but will not prevent the society from continued illness. I want to focus on prevention. If you step back far enough, the haze of complex problematic interactions blurs together. What really needs to happen is a great wind to come and blow all the haze away, so that we can start with a fresh, new, sunny day.

Yesterday, for Halloween, I started driving my rental car from Greensboro, NC at 10 am and turned it in at Dayton, OH at 5:45 pm, where I had rented it 3 days earlier. I then boarded a city bus, which took me close to I-70, where I would wait to get picked up by Sal, whom I had met 4 days earlier in Chicago through Craigslist, and who was giving me a ride back to Chicago, where I am now.
     During the hour-long wait for Sal, I took advantage of an offer from Chipotle (a growing burrito chain, which claims to be making strong efforts to serve naturally raised foods), which said that anyone dressed like something from a family farm gets a burrito for $2. So I stopped into the Walmart in the same shopping center as a Chipotle close to I-70, bought a pitchfork and a straw hat, put on my plaid shirt, and crossed the parking lot to Chipotle. There I joined a line which included 2 cows, a pig, a cowgirl and what looked to me like a panda, but she claimed she was a dog. The manager at Chipotle was thrilled to give $2 burritos to anyone in costume.
     After obtaining my burrito, I crossed the parking lot back to Walmart and returned the pitch fork and hat I had bought 20 minutes earlier. Sal showed up shortly, and we made the 5 hour drive back to Chicago. I arrived at my friend Cody's apartment around 2 am. I was glad I got to dress up for Halloween. Haven't missed one yet! 

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