Rebel with a day job…

One day, when they write the history books I feel that 2011 will go down as the year of the social protest, of the global call for change.  From Tunis and Tripoli to Damascus and Sana, to Athens and Rome, to Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon, to London, New York, and Washington people chose to take to the streets.  From Tahrir Square to Wall Street they came, sat, and talked about the world they hoped to build.  Against riot police, tear gas, and the bullets of armed men they remained and refused to leave, fearing prison and death much less than the abandonment of their cause.  They are the over-educated and under-employed and for some reason we have all failed them through the world we have allowed our parents to create…

There is no doubt in my mind, and indeed there hasn’t been for several years, that our world is in desperate need of great social and structural change.  We have allowed our societies to degrade, our communities to dissolve, our financial and banking systems to decay, our economies to stumble upon unsustainable realities and bubbles, and our dreams and ideals to be forgotten amidst the chaos of our daily lives and the illusions and false dogmas of our parents’ time.  The global financial system which has caused many of the ills we are now experiencing is in desperate need of reform and possibly even total abandonment.  Our oligopolies of the military-industrial complex, the medical-industrial complex, and the financial and banking sector must be changed if not dissolved if we are to find true peace and sustainable democracy for our children’s time.  And amidst a world of growing angst and insecurity, it appears these days are as good a time as any to begin addressing them and their root causes…

While I have sympathies for the protestors on the streets, I know that I could never join them.  They are the young and the old, the under-employed and the struggling.  They are full of either youthful vigor or the wisdom and freedom which come at the end of one’s professional life.  At this time, I am busy solidifying my career and establishing my role within the very system they are protesting to destroy.  While that system now is not entirely broken, the American Dream is still attainable to a few willing to work hard, sacrifice, live beneath their means, delay gratification, and keep evolving with their times…it is by no means as free and available as it once was…and that is what we all hope to change in the years ahead…

I am a rebel with a day job.  There are many like me.  We have worked our asses off to get where we are, made sacrifices, played the game, bought into the system, and we are now able to provide for ourselves and our families (should we have a family).  Yet still, we look at our realities with open minds and open hearts.  We question everything.  We read vigorously and accept and investigate any new idea or paradigm that comes into our world.  We believe that change can be positive and necessary for human evolution, yet we proceed cautiously in our endeavors.  We seek to understand all sides, engage from all angles, and tread lightly but surely in our work.  We understand that despite the passions and cries for immediate reform, the process of real change is slow, tiring, burdensome, difficult, and treacherous.  Yet despite our day jobs, our true calling is the calling of humanity and to that cause we are fully dedicated and invested.  We are the quiet minority, the soon to be majority, who despite our tough work and rough realities refuse to abandon our dreams…

To the protestors and demonstrators on the streets of our world, I truly feel your pain and sense your struggle.  Yours is noble work and I admire it from the depths of my heart.  However, while I don’t wish that you abandon your passions (for indeed without passion what life is worth living?), I only ask that you still be willing to engage in the long fight ahead for real reform.  While today you only wish to attract attention to your cause, I hope that tomorrow you will find yourselves just as dedicated to the real, difficult work ahead.  The complex systems at work in our world cannot be torn down overnight and indeed such total immediate destruction would likely leave us far worse off than we are now in both the short and the long term.  The buzzwords and disjointed messages you send, while effective for drawing attention and attracting recruits, will hold little weight when you get to work tomorrow.  In this world, there is no 99 percent, no 1 percent, no 60, 30, or 10 percent, there is only 100 percent of humanity.  And at the end of the day, we are all in this one together.  While I hope to work with some of you in the years ahead, be advised that our work will not be attractive, sexy, or made for mass media consumption.  The days will be long, the nights even longer.  The weeks, months, and years of our lives will pass us by like fleeting dreams upon waking up to each new reality with a healthy hangover from another night well spent.  But in the end we have no choice but to succeed, no alternative to the creation of the world our children deserve…

If time, circumstance, and coincidence had done me differently in this life, I could easily see myself amongst your ranks.  I am a rebel by birth, not by choice.  I am a free thinker, closet intellectual, hopeless academic, and passionate dreamer by the random coincidence and combination of genes that have established my reality.  I could just as easily see myself in sitting in Tahir Square, fighting on a battlefield in Libya, Yemen, or Syria, or standing on the streets of Athens, London, or New York as I can at this time working along the Af-Pak border wearing the uniform of the nation and ideals many of your dreams were once based upon.  In the work of humanity we all must play our part.  We must take our personal talents, strengths, and experiences and use them to build the world we dream of for our children.  It promises to be a long, difficult, and interesting road ahead.  Let’s never give up on our dreams, but be sure to ground them in our realities…

Here’s to the Arab Spring, the European Summer, the American Autumn, and whatever the cold winter months may bring…

Peace be upon all of you,

Brian

16 OCT 2011, 2000 AST, Sharana, Paktika, Afghanistan

Advertisements

About briangdonnelly

I'm pretty much a random traveler and free thinker. Right now I live and work with the Army in North Carolina. I grew up in Missouri but am from the northeast US and have traveled a lot with the Army and life in general so I can't say I really have a "home" except where I chose to catch a few hours or rack each day. Overall, life is pretty awesome and I'm looking forward to changing the world. Hit me up if you care... Peace, Brian
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s