Occupy is more than a word

What does it mean to 'Occupy' a place, as is the latest trend. Occupy is about more than a word, one reader says.

To the editor,

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with a friend about the Occupy Movement.

I have been giving this idea a lot of thought ever since its inception in New York last October.

The main focus of my consideration of occupy has been “how does it apply to me in my community?”

The first thing seems to be the need for a recognition of the problem.

We are facing huge environmental, economic and social challenges, the likes of which we have never seen before.

Almost every part of our lives, from the toothpaste we use first thing in the morning to the coffee we drink, the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the homes we live in, our transportation, our investments, our entertainment and the news we receive, are controlled by huge corporations which take little responsibility for the impact their products have on our lives and the planet.

We are also in an age when governments are less able to curb the power of these corporations.

Once we recognize that corporations have such power in our lives, and governments are doing little to curb it, we need to see that the real solutions lie with each of us in our daily lives.

Each of us has an individual responsibility for society and the planet. If we each do our part, there will be a powerful impact which could bring the necessary changes quicker than we can imagine.

The first thing we need to do is to become informed about the multitude aspects of the problem on a global, national and community level.

Then we need to learn how these aspects intersect with our personal day-to-day lives.

We need to start taking more responsibility for the food we eat, the clothes we wear, for all of our other consumption, our garbage, our transportation, our leisure time, the contributions we make to our community, and the way we relate with our neighbours.

We also need to take responsibility for democracy in our communities and our country.

This means becoming informed of current events, and recognizing our political responsibility; from voting in elections to expressing our views to politicians and the media, (both traditional and social) to demonstrating in the streets.

This is what it means to me to Occupy Port Alberni.

If each of us could do this, I think we would be surprised with the difference we could make.

John Mayba,

Port Alberni