Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.
-Sigmund Freud, The Complete Works
Change is in the air, and not just because it’s autumn. Governments and cultures all over the world are being called upon to change. This desire for change is occurring because social structures are not working well for the majority of these citizens. Here in the United States a desire for political and social change has been growing for several years.
It’s interesting to realize there have been a couple of agents of change at work here in the U.S. during this time. But they have been viciously attacked by the media. The media (traditional media; print, TV, and radio) has characterized them as crazy, naïve, and extreme among many other negatives. So many people believed these agents of change should be ignored, since traditionally the media is one of our more vibrant agents for change. Thus if the media derides these agents of change as, dangerous, crazy, and ineffectual, we think we should listen. However, the media has become one of the greatest champions the status quo, so it comes as no surprise that they attack the Tea Party and Occupy Wall St. movements.
We are told by those who support the status quo that the members of these movements are, extreme, naïve, and crazy. The average person being afraid, or at best uneasy with the idea of change, listens to those who are happy with the current system and believes these characterizations. The ironic thing is that the members of these movements are probably extreme, naïve and crazy to think that they can change the system.
Thank goodness for the extreme, naïve and crazy, without them the world wouldn’t change. In fact the United States wouldn’t exist. Remember it was an extreme idea to believe that the divine right of kings was wrong and that ordinary land owners, not just noble ones, should have a say in a republican government. Just imagine how naïve Jefferson and Adams must have seemed to think that a bunch of Colonial farmers could fend off a great world power. How crazy it was to think that they could beat those professional soldiers from that world power when less than 50% of the population even supported them.
Moreover our modern world exists because people are extreme, naïve, and crazy. After all, what an extreme idea, women are the equal of men and should be afforded the same rights; how naïve to believe humans could make the great viral killer, small pox, extinct; how crazy to imagine that humans would set foot on the moon. If it weren’t for people like them we would have no social progress. In fact it is only when more of us become crazy like that, that our society will change.
As for the Tea Party or Occupy movement our agreement with them is not what is important. What matters is that we listen to them, discuss their ideas, and build a societal consensus about what we should do. We must not sit on the sidelines and let the powerful tell us what we should think. We cannot let the supporters of the status quo demonize those who have the courage to say what they believe in. Whether we agree or disagree with the message we must support the messenger.
Thus, I salute those crazy Occupiers and Tea Partiers. I aspire to be as crazy as they are. To be crazy enough to believe that our society can be changed, to be naïve enough to believe that my voice can make a difference, and extreme enough to shout out my vision to the world.