I do not, as so many others do, have blind faith in the prospects of change or the betterment of mankind.
Most decisions are made for a select few. This is not a paranoid view of the world, but a practical one, and one I feel can be applied to many walks of life.
Teachers make decisions for students, parents make decisions for children and governments make decisions for their people.
Each group claims to be more informed, or better equipped, to handle the decision and its consequences.
I do, however, believe in the power of opinions. Let me be more specific — well-informed opinions.
Opinions created upon ignorance, indifference or prejudice are not ones I typically bestow much weight on, and neither, I feel, should anyone else.
It is with this in mind that I comment on the Oct. 12 opinion page in the print edition of the Columbia Missourian. These headlines caught my attention: "To be effective, Occupy protesters need a focus"; "Occupy Wall Street is purely American"; and "Protesters' message is simple: 'Hear us, see us. Pay attention.'"
To the first: "To be effective, Occupy protesters need a focus." Not very long ago, before this article appeared in the Missourian, the protesters released a manifesto of sorts. They also publish a journal/newsletter documenting their activities and their goals.
I find it hard to believe that the author of this article is unfamiliar with Google, and could not be bothered to look beyond what they were told.
To the second: "Occupy Wall Street is purely American." I respect greatly the opinions put forward, however the Occupy movement has moved far beyond the borders of the United States.
Protests have begun in Ireland, London, Montreal and even Melbourne, Australia. The ideals of the protest are not solely American either.
The prospects of economic justice, steady work and the potential for future prosperity are ideals embraced worldwide. The movement, after all was called by Adbusters to mimic the revolution in Egypt, actually christening it a "Tahrir moment on Wall Street."
To the third: "Protesters' message is simple: 'Hear us, see us. Pay attention.' "
Again, I must congratulate and commend the opinions set forth here, but I must expand. The protests are far beyond wanted to be seen and be acknowledged.
It is beyond explanation, beyond stating "We are the 99 percent, and we are tired of it."
It is about action. The opinions and histories that are part of this movement did not suddenly erupt on Sept. 18. They did not spring from the ground all of a sudden.
They have been brewing, stewing and slowly coming to boil for decades. It is only now that people act, that people become the physical manifestation of what they believe.
We are far beyond being seen or being paid attention to at this point. At this point it is action.
The Occupy movement is not about being poor, about being American, or about being a liberal, a socialist, or a conservative. It is about a fundamental flaw in the mechanism of modern society. It is a chance for the members of society to reform it.
I hope the movement does not die. I hope that people see it for what it is, and not as something to use as a tool for political gain or public awareness.
I hope that society changes for the better — though I have very little faith that it will.
Jake Grepart lives in Columbia.