Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dylan Ratigan: This Thanksgiving, Occupy Yourself

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!
By Dylan Ratigan
Host, MSNBC's 'The Dylan Ratigan Show'; Author, soon to be released 'Greedy Bastards'
This Thanksgiving, with national division everywhere, I'm going to be thinking about the bad guys, villains and adversaries, battles and conflict. I'm going to be thinking about my own dark side, and the suffering it can create when unacknowledged and unchecked. This is actually quite in keeping with the original spirit of Thanksgiving, a holiday of unity created in its modern form by Abraham Lincoln at the height of a bitter American Civil War
 Who is the villain of Occupy Wall Street? Some might say Mayor Michael Bloomberg, or Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland, both of whom ordered large paramilitary raids on peaceful protesters. Some might say the police, or the bankers, or those at the Chicago Board of Trade who held up signs saying "1%" and threw McDonald's job applications at the protesters below. Some might say corporations, or "the system", and yet others would say those who engage in drum circles late at night or do illegal drugs in a public place and endanger others. Some might simply say, the 1% who use much of society's resources for their own purposes.

I would point to the concept of the villain itself as the villain. For a villain, "the other", lets us avoid dealing with the dark part that resides in each of us. Here's my friend Deepak Chopra in his book The Shadow Effect: "The dark side of human nature thrives on war, struggle, and conflict. As soon as you talk about winning, you have lost already."

We all have dark thoughts -- individually and as a nation. Fear, lust, anger, jealousy, deceit drive much of our decision-making. Yet, these are parts of ourselves we run away from.