Occupy Wall Street’s commitment to failure

By | November 8, 2011

“Movements don’t come nicely prepackaged.” Digby

Recently I took it upon myself to find out what all of the upset was regarding Wall Street.

Having lived in NYC for some time, I am well aware of the drama that is ongoing and most entertaining in this fair city. What I was not aware of was the magnitude of financial resources being doled out at the same time that I was working in schools with limited resources and a population that was beyond poor.

Had I known that there were people receiving millions of dollars in bonuses while I struggled to make sure that my students had enough pencils to last until the end of my work week , I would have been on WS going all Michael Moore on them with a bucket in hand and a list of suitable demands.

NYC schools struggle with overcrowded classrooms, insane obsession with standardized testing (which by the way doesn’t prove anything) overworked teachers and parents who want the best for their children.

Meanwhile, there are people receiving millions of dollars while saying money is not important. Is it me or is that the bs people spew when they are not financially strapped. Rather than go on about the 99 % or the 1 % , I would like to assist WS in their efforts to get rid of that circus that is OWS so that they can get back to making millions.

Leo Apetheker is not afraid to fail.

In the real world, much like Wall Street, failure is our friend and our greatest teacher. In the case of Mr. Apetheker, he failed at his gig at Goldman Sachs and was given the boot and a nice plump $24 million dollar payout for eleven months.

When I worked in low paying menial jobs, they fired you for being late and were kind enough to allow you to wallow in humiliation by finishing out the day.

We teach our children that failure and risk taking is bad. We fear that a failure will scar them for life and sentence them to a life of doom and regret. There is an understanding that one mistake will forever mark them as losers, us (parents and adult figures responsible for their tutelage) as less than ideal individuals and that there is never anyway that their lives will continue and have meaning.

Leo probably doesn’t see it that way.

I have a suggestion for Mr. Apetheker. Hop on the 4/5/6 and trot on up to a school in East Harlem or the Bronx. Share your secrets for pulling yourself out of the doldrums when life gives you a swift kick in the groceries.

While your sharing, pass out a few fat checks to the teachers and recommend things you do when people threaten you with eternal damnation because you didn’t measure up to someone else’s standards.

Failure is not bad.

When you passionately set out on a journey to institute change there will be missteps, hurt feellings and just plain dumb decisions.

Apparently, OWS , like young people and those in education, is no place for floundering. If you want a revolution, you better bloody well have everything mapped out and understand that mistakes are not only not tolerated but they better not occur.

Since this will never happen, it is a wiser choice to offer a sit down with those who have no problem making mistakes and those who fear making a misstep because the cost is so inordinately high.

When you are in the position to control your destiny and the only consequence of making a mistake is a wad of cash, you can afford to create and package things the way you desire.

One thought on “Occupy Wall Street’s commitment to failure

  1. Mickey Carroll

    Hello Parents & Teachers. I write songs about prevalent issues in the world and produce concerts that give back to world community.

    You Got To Give Back- dedicated to Corporate America –

    A group of elementary school children with the help of their teacher Mr John Olbert produced a video by using a song I composed entitled We Did The Wild Life Boogie. This is a song regarding jobs and the economy. Please click Like the kids would like that 🙂

    The Economy Song – We Did The Wild Life Boogie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_6JSQDFv2E.

    Grammy Nominee
    Gold Record Recipient.
    Three Arts and Humanity Awards.


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