Remember the “Occupy” movement — an overall rejection of greed in financial institutions, unfairness in pay and work, and self-interest in politics?
Same Old Same Old
From New York to Berkeley and in many cities in between, citizens demanded that their leadership (we used to call it “the establishment”) be more accountable, responsible, honest and altruistic. People grew tired of what they sensed was the same old rhetoric that spilled onto a teleprompter and out of the mouths of well-rehearsed and programmed politicians and advertisers and marketers. Must we forever be subjected to the hackneyed promises that things will get better if only we give “our plan” a chance? How long do we wait for our elected officials to work together for the benefit of the people they serve? Isn’t there a better way?
The Great Divide
While many Americans are still waiting patiently for things to get better, the wealthy are getting wealthier, venerable institutions—banks, government and even universities—are showing signs of insensitivity, callousness, poor judgment, and formerly respected leaders are proving to be fallible or incompetent. Americans declare that they are growing tired and weary of business as usual. They not only want change—they demand a complete transformation in the way people relate to one another, personally and professionally.
Where this will end up, we’re not sure. While the “occupy” enclaves have been dismantled, the anger remains, the feeling of unfairness is palpable, and the desire for change is real.
Another venerable institution we know something about is the family. Many people believe the family unit is not only following the other institutions down the tubes but is leading the way. Half of marriages end in divorce. Too many children are being raised in one-parent homes. Too often, kids are left alone between school and dinner. Too frequently, children exist in uncertain, unpredictable environments.
Unlike financial institutions and corporations, the solidarity of your family foundation is in your hands. We can make our family stronger. We can set the ground rules and create an environment where both freedom and responsibility reign, where fairness is balanced with discretion and compromise, where kids feel valued, listen to and care for others, and learn to think for themselves
Occupy Your Teens
It’s time to start an “occupy” movement at home. Choose to become a larger part of your teenager’s life. Stand for values and high expectations. Voice your concern for their welfare. Stage a sit-in around the dinner table and talk about an issue, a school assignment, a personal interest. Declare one night a week as a time to listen to each other’s concerns. Be an example to your children.