What Can We Learn from the ‘Occupy’ Movement?

It began in mid-September as people peacefully gathered in a park near New York City’s Wall Street to  protest government corruption and ineffectiveness, mass unemployment, the growing chasm of the haves and have nots,  and the impunity of  financial industry greed that triggered the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Like in the movie “Network,” they were “mad as hell and weren’t going to take it anymore.”

People in hundreds of other cities throughout the United States and beyond began their own Occupy Movement. No one knows what, if any, changes will result from these gatherings or if, as the cold weather descends, the protesters will soon retreat to their warm homes and shelters.

When something in the news like this attracts so much attention, I often think what lessons we can learn from it.  While we may not be compelled to camp out in a park to fight injustices, there are simple ways we can stand up for ourselves and terminate tolerations that have prevented us from being our best.

Like toxic people. You know those in your life who push all your buttons, drain your energy and drive you crazy?  I tend to put them into two categories: those you can eliminate from your life and those you can’t. The first–friends and neighbors–are relationships that are fairly easy to end when you recognize what’s best for you and for them.

Family and coworkers–those you must interact with–fall into the second category. It’s up to you to set healthy boundaries and recognize that the anger or frustration they vent to you is rarely about you. By focusing on what you are grateful to them for–even if it’s that they teach you to be more patient–you can begin to reduce their power over you.

So, what won’t you take anymore? What tolerations will you commit to terminate?  Share it here.


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