Photo by John Minchillo/AP
Sometimes we think that we have to have all of our ducks in a row before we start on a big project, but maybe that's not the case. Last week I wrote about Jean Beliveau (here), who left his home in Ottawa and decided to walk around the world, seeking some clarity about his life. Beliveau knew he had to get moving,  even though he didn't have a clear cut vision when he began what would end up being an 11 year trek. But he was a focus of a group of people back home, including his wife Luce, who kept regularly in contact with him, visited yearly, and made sure he had enough funds to pay for some basic necessities. Along the way, she also suggested he embrace a cause for his walk, and so he joined the efforts of the United Nations proclamation:  2001-2010 - International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World.

I think there might be something similar going on with the "Occupy Wall Street" movement that has been growing over the past few weeks. Early on, there was criticism that there was no unifying theme, no list of demands, no blueprint for a way forward. And that's true. The media questioned whether a group of people who were just trying to draw attention to something they felt was wrong in the economic fabric of America, could succeed. It's too early to tell, of course, but I am encouraged that the movement is sparking thought and consideration from those who are beinning to pay attention. If nothing else, people are finding a voice, and the freedom to speak peaceably without necessarily making demands. This is worth noticing.

It reminds me of four rules for living that a friend shared a while ago from her readings. (They are attributed to various sources.) I've posted them on the bulletin board above my desk. They are:

1. Show up
2. Pay Attention
3. Tell the Truth
4. Detach from the Outcome

The first step is just to show up, to be available, willing to make the effort to stand for something. Second is the commitment to be open, to notice especially that which concerns us as humans, what touches our hearts. Third, there is a willingness to speak the truth. To speak it in love, without violence, but firmly and clearly so as to be assured that people are able to hear. Finally, there is the necessity to detach from the outcome. You can only do your part.
But we are responsible for our own part. We cannot be content with just sitting back. This is true whether it refers to improving democracy in America, building a loving relationship with our spouse, friend, or workmate, or taking part in our own personal transformation.  Whatever you may think of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, this much is true. They are showing up, and I find that inspiring.