There’s a great line in the Stevie Wonder song If Your Love Cannot Be Moved: “You can’t form a line if you’re too scared to stand alone.” That one line, confirms for me how powerful each of us are when we choose to use our individual voice and stand up for what we believe in.
I’ve been watching and cheering as the events that are happening around the globe have been unfolding; those that seemingly started to get the attention of the world with the Occupy Wall Street movement, on September 17th. The public milestones are by now, very well-known. A July 13th call to action by activist magazine Adbusters. An August 31st YouTube video by hactivist collective Anonymous. A few hundred protesters on September 17th. Arrests on the 24th. Taking The Brooklyn Bridge on October 1st. Massive media attention and a national movement following. Interesting how a generally nonviolent movement that uses no official leaders, is gaining radical momentum. And has become global in scope.
I could say its time has come, that it’s written in the stars or heavens, actually. For those curious about how Astrology is involved, the occurrence of the first of seven exact squares over the next three years, between Uranus (planet of revolution, liberation and sudden change) and Pluto (planet of globalization and transformation) does much to explain the birth of this movement. Uranus square Pluto is the most significant and most challenging planetary influence in a generation. These planets came together in the mid 1960′s and for those who remember the sixties, it was definitely a decade of liberation, revolution, transformation and change. We are once again living through a major generational upheaval.
For me, the important point is that so often I hear people say they feel helpless and that one voice cannot possibly make a difference. Personally, I’ve always believed that it can and have made sure to consciously use my voice. To sit back and say or do nothing at this point in our human history, I believe is no longer acceptable. Others seem to agree. When I received an email from Avaaz.org, calling their ten million supporters worldwide to action, I was eager to lend my voice. It came literally hours before the reported eviction of the demonstrators of Occupy Wall Street from Zucotti Park, was to happen.
All we were being asked to do was to mobilize and make calls en masse to the appropriate parties, (who by now are well-documented), to lend our voice and our support to the peaceful demonstrators, with the goal of stopping the eviction. The proposed reason for the eviction was to clean the park. The real reason, is up for interpretation. I chose to make several calls. We were all invited to share our experience in making these calls online, and I tuned in for several hours afterward and saw that people from all parts of the world were stepping up and taking action, so that their voice would be heard. It felt exhilarating to see the power of the people used so effectively in this dynamic online forum.
I went to sleep that night curious and wondering what would happen. Would the privileged few who were in a place to make the decision to stop the eviction, listen to the voice of many? I eagerly tuned in to the news the next morning and smiled as I heard that the owners of Zucotti Park had agreed to postpone the eviction and to work with the demonstrators to arrive at a solution, so they were now free to stay. The people had spoken and in this case, every individual voice contributed to becoming a massive worldwide collective voice with a unified message. Confirms for me that the power truly is with the people. We simply need to believe it.
The movement has now spread globally, and on October 15th, my local version, Occupy Toronto, got underway peacefully, with dedicated and committed individuals who plan to camp out and stay awhile. There are “occupy” movements all over the world now. The demands, which were stated by the New York protesters, do speak I believe, to the concerns of all the movements, of all the people everywhere who are speaking up as individuals in co-operation, wanting to be heard as one voice. The official declaration is beautifully and eloquently written and well worth reading. In some ways the demands speak for themselves and are not really surprising considering the current state of the world and the economy. The time has come to change social structures that no longer work.
The real story for me, is that individuals everywhere finally believe that within each of us lies great power, the power of the individual voice. And by joining with others who share the same belief, perhaps we become unstoppable and together can make a difference. It is an exciting period in our history. It is truly a time to speak up and let your voice be heard. A way for all of us to serve. With this, I believe that change is definitely coming and quickly.
Where in your life have you taken action, spoken up and let your individual voice be heard?