Things are still wildly bubbling in and around the Occupy movement, which is still radically expanding and evolving. Despite many growing pains, the co-creative, committed engagement of the participants is inspiring. So many among them are using the disturbances in and around them as a motivation for personal growth and collective innovation.
Occupy Together is, as they say, a phenomenon. It is such a passionate, complex, self-organizing initiative that even chaos and complexity theories have a hard time adequately explaining it. It is ALIVE!
The word “occupy” – as a connotation-rich idea or meme – is itself a fascinating part of the movement’s impact. It invites everyone who wants a new and better world, to claim a space where they can work together to co-create that world. So far, that space is usually a public park. But that’s expanding and morphing: More people are talking about occupying a school, a workplace, a bank, a heart, a profession, an industry, a government office, the airwaves, our minds – any “place” where some piece of the new world needs to evolve and replicate itself to become the actual New World. And the word “occupy” suggests commitment to that place, persistence in it, putting down some roots, claiming and owning and taking responsibility for holding it and making it good.
That’s why, as Chris Hedges notes in the video below, that when one occupier is removed, ten more show up. That’s why I hear someone has bought or rented a large indoor space near OWS for use by the protesters during the winter. We all know that this is our new world these folks are holding space for and carving out under rain and billy clubs. They are working on our behalf and so many of us naturally feel called to work on theirs. We kinda know we’re all in the same boat now.
In communities of practice that use Open Space and World Cafe, facilitators speak of “holding space for conversations that matter”, and of the importance of having a clear intention or focus or powerful questions into and around which such conversation can flow as it makes its way to its not-yet-seen sea – the future outcome that is “wanting to emerge” in and from the group’s passionate explorations. They speak of self-organization being driven by “passion and responsibility”. I see OWS and its kindred occupations providing a passionate focus that resonates with millions of people of all types, in all sectors and strata of society, and holding space for a whole-society conversation about what’s going on in our world, about where we’re headed, about where we want to go. It doesn’t matter who we are or what our place is in the society. OWS asks us to look around us, see what needs to be done, and to occupy the space needed to make it happen. “Take responsibility for what you love.” A far better future is waiting for us to occupy it.
I hope you find the many articles and videos below as inspiring, fascinating and useful as I’ve found them.
Blessings on the Journey.