Given the nature of my last post, I felt the need to follow it up with what I found Sunday, as I was doing a piece on a local festival.
The thing I found while interviewing people, the one thing they had in common was that this whole “lack of jobs” situation is FINALLY inspiring the unemployed to start doing something they love and starting their own business. There are hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs saying, “Well, I went to college to be a chef, but my passion lies in making jam. I’m going to start my own jam company,” or “I spent 15 years working the 9-5. I’m going start making pottery.”
Almost everyone said that starting their own business, while difficult, has changed their lives for the better. They do what they love, and even if the people attracted to their wares don’t have money to spent on barbed wire art, they appreciate the art, and spend hours looking and “picking out” pieces.
I do understand the hardships of being unemployed, though not directly.
My dad was one of the lucky ones. He was unemployed for five month before TWO companies hired him. He was willing to take the pay cut, and now he’s at Emory University doing maintenance work. It’s what he loves to do. Rite-Hite, a dock leveler company, wants him to, and he has a job as soon as they finish building his service truck. Whether or not he’ll leave Emory is up in the air. He really enjoys it.
Though I have two jobs, my dream in life is to write, and I’m doing it, though I’m not making any money. It’s part of the reason I blog: I want to chronicle my journey dealing with breaking into the publishing world on my own. I want to reach out to others like me, who want to be writers but are intimidated by major publishing houses, or don’t think they can make it on their own.
I think there are a LOT of positives coming from the OWS campaign, even if things don’t change, or don’t change immediately. Even despite the ignorant participants who don’t know why they’re there, or think it’s all fun and games. Despite the few who are foolishly taking things to the extreme. I love the fact that so many different people, from all backgrounds and experiences, are coming together and sharing their stories and standing for something they believe so strongly in, the campaign has survived for a month. Even the organizers didn’t think it’d last that long.
I still encourage people to look at OWS and actually learn what it’s about. If you live in New York, go down and talk to people. If you in the other protesting cities, go talk to people. If you’re an art student, go outside and draw. It may be that nothing will change, but this protest is no less important.