I just came across this great blog on Tumblr called We Are the 99 Percent. In response to the Occupy Wallstreet movement, citizens from across the country have written testimonials about their experiences with the economy, student loans, mortgages, medical bills, unemployment, and the like. The authors take self portraits of themselves holding their handwritten stories which are posted on the Tumblr page.
I came across one of these photos and soon found an hour of my night consumed reading these people's experiences. Some of them ring awfully familiar, others have brought me to the verge of tears, and still more have detailed my worst fears. Despite the awful political and economic conditions which have made such a blog possible, reading this Tumblr does give me hope. The sheer number of people who have shared their experiences, who have reached rock bottom but still count themselves blessed or lucky, who recognize how unsustainable and precarious our national situation is, and who realize that the American dream is no longer within reach gives me reason to believe that change is imminent.
The Occupy Wallstreet movement is a peaceful, powerful, and essential one that I fully support and hope to in some way participate in when it makes its way to Baltimore. Reading these narratives from the 99%, and even a few from advocates belonging to the 1%, I can't imagine how things could possibly persist as they are without any movement toward change. In a world where so many individuals have followed the correct path, worked hard in school and beyond, and done right the whole time but still find themselves unable to make ends meet, worried about their survival, and unable to provide for their families, there is no conceivable future without change.
Even if 99% of our nation's people don't possess the degree of economic power they have rightly earned, their voices are another source of power that is proving impossible to ignore.