Defining Problems or Proposing Solutions?

As I waded through comments and discussions regarding my post from earlier this week, Occupy My Life, I came across three types of people in regards to the Occupy Together movement:

  1. Those that shine a light on the problems at hand.
  2. Those that go beyond problems and offer solutions.
  3. Those that don’t care either way.

I’m all for protesting, I’m all for shining a light on the issues that our society faces today, but the people that go beyond just raising awareness and offering solutions are few in numbers.

I received a link to the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City and towards the end of a long list of injustices, I came to a small paragraph of truth: “Create a process to¬†address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.”

Part of generating solutions accessible to everyone is that everyone is involved in the process of defining what the problems are exactly. But therein lies an even greater difficulty: By which standard do we evaluate society in order to define whether something is a problem or not? Whose vision and painting of reality is correct? Is there a universal code of humanity that everyone abides by?

Solutions are not easy, but accurately assessing the problem is equally challenging. That is why some choose to respond with apathy or distance, but that is no longer an option. We are faced with systematic problems that are not going to get better any time soon. There are not enough voices defining real problems and there are not enough people proposing realistic solutions that are accessible to all.

As long as we are viewing life through our own self-centered filters, we will miss what this movement is about. It is an opportunity to put American ingenuity to work as everyone comes together—rich and poor, white and black, male and female—to change the world.