I had a dream last night
What a lovely dream it was….
Why did everybody laugh
when I told them my dream?
I guess they all were so far
from that kind of scene.
For Christmas my son gave me a copy of The 99%: How the Occupy Wall Street Movement is Changing America. The book includes articles, transcripts, photos and interviews, all attempting to make sense of the Occupy Wall Street movement which was in its infancy when the book was written. I was only twenty pages into the book when I read Roseanne Barr’s address to OWS at Liberty Plaza on September 19, 2011:
“I WANT A NEW capitalism. Not fueled by wars. One that doesn’t pass on its wealth to a handful of white guys and call that free trade. One wherein the elderly actually get paid their retirement monies. We’ll have capitalism, but we’ll also have socialism. And education and basic compassion and healthcare I’m talking about a system that rewards hard work and ambition, but cares for its weakest child …. We will simply combine capitalism and socialism and create people-ism, where ideas work for a functional system. No one will cling blindly to single, unyielding ideology …. We will actually compromise, adjust and make reasonable choices. We will have common-sense solutions.”
What I love most about Barr’s comments is her “dreaming outside the box.” Some may laugh scornfully, but I believe we have enough cynicism to go around already – I see it in myself. But I don’t want to be so negative, so pessimistic, so cynical, so locked into what is known and taken for granted about “how it is”, so “sophisticated” and “intellectual” that I can no longer hope, imagine change, or dream of something much better.
Barr’s article is set up by Lynn Paramore’s Introduction to the book. She also imagines …
“a world where students are not crushed by debt, where the elderly do not choose between food and medicine, where wars are not waged for profit, where we care together for the Earth and for principles like acceptance and nonviolence, where the people control the political system and where human values drive our society instead of corporate greed.”
Sandwiched between these two women’s articles is an article by Arun Gupta, a founding editor of The Indypendent newspaper. He wants us to envision the realization of “… a society based on human needs, not hedge fund profits.”
I just wanted to go on record as saying that I’m responding to the call. I will hope. I will work. I will learn, and I WILL DREAM. Nor will I be limited in my dreaming by what I’ve known, what seems feasible, or by what history, my peers, or the experts tell me must be. I won’t limit God’s ability that way, or disrespect humanity, made in his image, as though it couldn’t possibly rise to a moment of greatness.
I’m a dreamin’ man,
yes, that’s my problem.
I can’t tell
when I’m not being real.
I’ll always be a dreamin’ man
I don’t have to understand.
I know it’s alright.