Some thoughts about the Wall Street protesters, a growing movement in a number of cities in the US. I believe we may have a group of well intentioned people aiming their anger in the right direction — but for the wrong, underlying reasons.
“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate” said the prison captain in Cool Hand Luke after Paul Newman refused to sacrifice the little remaining dignity he had left.
While the media seem to focus only on the greed of those on Wall Street, what is being most overlooked is a missing trait and greed’s true cause — the lack of humility, the fundamental element of integrity; both MIA on Wall Street, Washington, D.C., and in our societies in general.
So, how did we get here? We all know and accept that the winds of fortune blow some along, while blowing others back, yet some argue it’s karma or “the soul of the world” — whatever one wants to call it, that some benefit from yet others don’t.
What we do know is that if some take advantage of position or situation to produce gains for themselves at the expense of others, then we have a no win, dispiriting result. This is why voices group and rebel; make protest to bring awareness of the deep rooted causes of why some exploit without conscience or could care less about the results of others.
In too many cultures, we find that the motivating aspect for success too often reminds us that it’s all about “me”, the selfish, uncaring persons, who have either forgotten or never learned the qualities of humility and integrity. So, profitable as they may be, their effort is short lived and damned to be followed at the other end of the ledger in a depressing way.
The real culprit on Wall Street and in Washington D.C., is the lack of humility resulting in a void; a silence when the raging sound for integrity is most needed.
When someone in power, whether on Wall Street or in Washington, D.C., loses touch with humility, their integrity– more often than not, it is us who are negatively impacted. Their poor decisions become the unforeseeable events, which cause black holes on bank’s balance sheets, unemployment, and an ongoing credit crisis resulting in a never ending turmoil smothering our day to day lives.
So why are they protesting about Wall Street? It is because the unbridled jackasses, the “Man”, we use to say, believe that they are the only ones that make the world go ‘round, blindly unable to comprehend or acknowledge that powers really do exit out there, much, much larger than themselves.
John Gordon Smith Ethics Speaker