“Outside Job” More Fun than “Inside Job”

In Alive in Our Hearts, Birthplace of Democracy, Where Few Dare Tread on September 20, 2011 at 1:59 am

Entrance to Acropolis. Propyleum. Temple of Athene Nike

Entrance to Acropolis.  Propyleum. Temple of Athene Nike

It’s only fitting there should be an “Outside Job,” in the streets, by ordinary, non-plutocrats, as a foil to the “Inside Job” Wall St. has in our government and in both parties.

Who is doing the real trading?  The guys running numbers that flit into translated piles of money (oh, such hard work the wealthy do, to have money managers flit numbers on a screen all day for them!)–or true “nobodies” (thank you, Emily Dickinson) who awkwardly meet on the street in an inchoate echo of Athenian Democracy to trade ideas, candor, aspirations….

The disparity of wealth in our country (and the world) is readily undone less by mechanical transactions (such as represented by impersonal stock trading screens), but volumes more by the boosting of spirit that such grassroots movements feed to all of society.

Many of us can’t be there, but listening to the Livestream all day has been invigorating…the little tendrils of earnest and honest attempts at a society more participatory than consumptive.  It brings fresh energy to our attempts wherever we toil, to make Democracy alive wherever we are with, at the very least, our kindness to each other.

After all, even full unemployment is nothing to savor if we feel embittered into Republican and Democratic camps, or incessantly hopeless about the other side’s lack of grasp of reality.

Here on the streets, the stakes are low–people with nothing have nothing to lose–but they have a world of trust and hope to gain–a type of hope that is more real than any idea a politician can sell you for a vote and a song–because they created it themselves…and that is change that is contagious, and makes money seem meaningless by comparison.
If Democracy were not more powerful than money, it never would have been born, nor persisted through the ages–there would have only been de facto oligarchy.  But from time to time, the people rise up, and take exception to the rulers.   In dark times, more people accept inequality, accept their station, and deify some people as rulers (evidenced today in the celebrity culture in which the President is just one of a long line of red carpet runway figures, running away from mere mortals.)

I have no doubt the Tahrir square, Egypt, meetings of the minds and hearts of its people were worth more than all the gold in the world.  We, too, could be so wealthy in the U.S., if only we would dare to value spiritual exchange over money.

Temple of the Mysteries, Eleusis

Temple of the Mysteries, Eleusis, between 1850 and 1880 by Constantine Dimitris

[Greek tablets at Qirṭāsī, Egypt]

Greek Tablets at Qirtasi, Egypt

Look!  The door is still open to anyone brave enough to search for Democracy!   It lives wherever we shed delusions about wealth and inequality, and embrace our shared humanity.   It lives more in our hearts, actions, and the streets than in voting booths.   It is the sum total of every thought and action we make every single day.


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