By Rosalie J. Kakos
While shooting my short film downtown, right across the street from my set was a sea of tents. Above them was a massive scroll, and on this scroll were the words, “We the people…” in Old English font. Say it ain’t so? Is my beautiful country falling apart? Is this “Occupy” movement going to change anything? Did a homeless man just insult my sound guy? In this city, anything can happen. What started out in Wall Street has caused a worldwide revolutionary movement across the globe. I couldn’t stop staring. There were grown men and women, some with children, people from all walks of life sleeping in tents right smack dab in the center of Detroit city. But why? For one thing, people are upset. When people get upset, especially as a collective, unified, force, I can assure you it isn’t because they didn’t get a bonus. Although, that may help allay some of their anger.
The real reason anyone gets upset is because they’re not happy with the way things are. Now, on top of their dissatisfaction, they decide to do something about it. They don’t sit back and complain, wondering when things will be different. Sure, they may complain while they protest, but this balances out any said complaints. So what aren’t they happy about? For one thing, our government isn’t doing a good job handling the money. Where’s Dr. Phil when you need him? He needs to have a sit down with America and teach her how to spend wisely. Before anyone lights a torch and decides to run after me, angry mob style, know that these are strictly my opinions. If the men in the big suits think their business are “too big to fail,” does that mean we, the people, are “too small to succeed?”
What would any of our Forefathers do if they were faced with a country standing on its last leg? The main difference between politicians then and politicians now all comes down to the word “self.” Are they selfish or are they selfless? Yes, it’s terribly difficult to imagine all of the pressure on their shoulders, having to deal with so many different issues, leaders, policies, bills, etc. But there’s another problem. Maybe they’re too distracted? I’m serious. You can’t stretch yourself out too thin for too long without expecting to hurt yourself. Along with being distracted, selfish or selfless, they are people pleasers – BUT TO THE WRONG PEOPLE.
In order to successfully run a country, where the people are happy and satisfied, where the laws are abided, and where there is civility, you must forgo the desire to please the “big men on campus.” The leaders of other countries, the UN, the people in your cabinet. Yes, this may seem like an impossible ordeal, because a lot of those people are stubborn and difficult to work with, and maybe they have to be for their positions. But if you think a world like that cannot exist, you are thinking in terms of “scarcity, ” just as Robert Kiyosaki, of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame stated in his book, “If You Want To Be Rich And Happy, Don’t Go To School.
People are upset because they’re scraping away at their life’s savings, praying and hoping that there will be a way out of the paycheck-to-paycheck kind of life. Work harder? Make a plan? Goal-setting? Oh, they’ve heard it all before, they’ve done it, and they continue to work while near bankrupt companies get “bailed out,” while foreign countries get millions and millions of our dollars (doesn’t matter what they’re sending it there for – if we’re not investing in America, we go broke), while high school students, college students, hard-working adults, and the elderly stay up at night, (or fall asleep in class), with a thought about how they’re going to pay their next bill is on repeat in their thoughts. Speaking of which, while at school today, a young woman approached me with a bag of candy in her hand. She was asking for fifty cents – CENTS- for a chocolate morsel in order to pay for her prescription medication for an infection that developed in her hand after stitches went wrong. She had no insurance. I talked to this young woman and felt her pain, her despair. Usually, I’m a bit weary of anyone asking for money outright, but this? You had to be there.
What are the Occupiers asking for? Fairness. It is an issue of class. It always has been. The difference now is that the head honchos got caught playing their money games and the gap is larger than ever. The Occupiers want an OCCU-PATION. They want to do work that is meaningful. They want to wake up every morning and know they are appreciated. They want to use their talents in order to help their communities. They want to make money to live comfortably with their families and enjoy this short life they have. They’re not a bunch of people throwing a national temper tantrum. They’re people who have had enough. And, if the politicians pay attention, they’ll see that.
BUT – you know what they say? In order to build yourself up, you have to breakdown first.
Rosalie J. Kakos is a Community Affairs Intern at WWJ-TV/CW50 CBS Detroit.