Occupy My Life

Occupy Together, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Portland: All protests composed of the 99% that are “getting nothing” and against the 1% that are “getting everything.” They are protesting the greed and corruption of Wall Street. They are losing their houses, they can’t afford rent, and they want to be bailed out, just like the corporations that have gained government favor over the past few years.

I guess I could be classified as one of the 99%. I’m most certainly not a member of the 1%. I struggle financially, I live month to month, and I am one accident away from failure. But the differences unfortunately end there because as I investigate why I don’t have what I need and struggle each month, it all comes back to me.

It is all my fault.

When I had money, I didn’t save it. When I needed money, I got it and when I didn’t get it, there was another form of money available, but the cost to use that was high. I knew that, but I did it anyway.

I knew what my education cost, I was told it would take 20 years to pay back. I knew what my mortgage cost, I signed on the line for the 30 year loan. Everything that I own, I knew the cost.

My protest begins here: I look in the mirror and yell at myself.

So, how can I occupy my life and get to a more comfortable position?

  1. Save
  2. Spend Less
  3. Work More

I realize that this isn’t the case for everyone, but I guess I am in the other 1%, those that blame no one but themselves for the circumstances that they find themselves in.

5 replies on “Occupy My Life”

I think your ideas here are powerful and relevant; for many, it was their own damn fault. However, for many others, it’s not: it’s not the middle classes’ fault that the top 1-percent of Americans own 23-percent of the wealth. It’s not their fault that corporate banks and sticking debit card fees to the consumer since the Fed capped how much they could charge small businesses. It’s not their fault that CEO salaries are hundreds of times more than theirs, even though CEO outcomes aren’t often commensurate with the value they provide. It’s not their fault that businesses are sitting on $2 trillion in wealth, and can’t get jobs or a decent COLA adjustment, or bonuses. It’s not their fault that insurance companies rake consumers by maintaining healthcare as a premium product rather than a commodity (like the rest of the world), forcing us to pay higher prices for healthcare. It’s not their fault that automation is displacing the average worker; that’s Capitalism. There is and should be a distinction between what you can control and what you can’t control, and there are many factors affecting the 99-percent that are outside of their control, and in the hands of corporations, government, lobbyists, and the top 1-percent of this country. It’s not all about personal responsibility – some is – but not for all.

Hi Russell, my question is this: How do we really turn the system around? Are the protests really going to do it? What are the options that everyone can take?

I think I’ve got to agree with both sides here. There’s little value in always blaming others and we MUST take ownership of our own choices. At the same time however I think speaking out prophetically against the injustices in our world is of the utmost importance. Can’t it be both? Can’t we say at the same time that only we are responsible for our own choices AND that the system in which we make those choices is broken and his digressed to a place that is so incredibly disproportional that it’s more slavery-like than anything else?

I’m skeptical of any wholesale change because of the amount of loss such change would require…but wholesale change is necessary I think. I guess my official position is protest loudly, vote loudly, and act radically with your own choices and finances in order to support the change that your signs and ballots suggest.

Hey Ryan, you have said it best: “protest loudly, vote loudly and act radically.” Thanks for sharing, you have definitely got me thinking about the balance between personal accountability and corporate responsibility.

I am one to blame myself for my
dissatisfaction and shortcomings. 


I live in America with freedom of
religion, speech, press and so much more.


I have all I need, it is
up to me to choose to take advantage of what has been given me.


So, I choose to take responsibility for
my actions and outcomes.  I will not look with greed at what others have
but ask them how they accomplished their achievements and strive for what I


God please bless my efforts!

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