Being from San Francisco, passionate about civil rights, and just a tad more opinionated than most, I appreciate all that the Wall Street protestors are trying to achieve. I’m in agreement about their beefs with banks, monetary policies, and government. I don’t agree that the top 1% of the population should hold so much of the wealth. Yet, I wonder if many of these protestors have ever considered where they shop, eat, and bank. Could they be simultaneously contributing to the problem while also trying to protest against it? Have they ever thought about it?
I ponder what the impact on Wall Street and the top 1% would be if the other 99% decided not to shop at national chain stores that buy their products from China, eat at fast food restaurants that are a primary cause of obesity, and use ATMs at banks that have received bailout money?
Couldn’t one key solution to today’s woes be to simply make a pact like we’ve done with OneLocalFamily? We have spent less money this year, eaten better, and have consumed less. I’m going to a business meeting tomorrow on my bike. I made dinner tonight for my family with food purchased from a store owned and operated in my community. And, we might just go to the library instead of buying a book from an online book retailer that doesn’t feel that they should have to collect taxes when their local competitors have to.
While I was too young to be part of the activism of the 1960s, I do believe that we all have the capability of standing up against things that are not morally correct or socially functional. However, it’s how we go about doing so that really makes the difference.
Sure, I can set up a tent on Wall Street and hope I can be heard. Or, I can put my money where my mouth is and make a difference by writing this blog and hopefully inspiring a few others to join us in buying local.
How I wish a reporter would ask one of these protestors where they bank or shop. The answer would probably be quite surprising and hypocritical. I believe that change starts at home, and that if we all do our part, we’ll begin to see real impact one community at a time.
I hope that others will join us in choosing to spend their dollars locally. Together, we can make a real difference.
Song of the Day: Power to the People