JONESTOWN SURVIVOR is a Proud Member of the Occupy Movement

I am a proud member of the Occupy Movement. Why? This vignette tells it all. I have a friend who has spent her life caretaking – AIDS patients, her daughter, many others during her lifetime. We sit at different activist events and I am delighted to share the table/bench/banner with her.

Last week, she attended an event in our local park – a green park with swings and kids’ climbing equipment, a railroad museum, and multitudes of homeless men and women. The event was to bring attention to some of the voiceless in our society – immigrants, homeless, and others bruised and battered by life.

My friend – who has had her very own share of being battered – went to the event in the early evening. She listened to the speakers, greeted everyone in her naturally friendly way. Then, she got tired of standing. She went over and shared a bench with several of the homeless men living in the park. Of course.

Many parts of this story endear her to me. One, she stands up and speaks out when she doesn’t have to. Then, she attends events to give physical support. When she gets tired, she doesn’t leave to go home to her warm home. She stays. And finally, she treats everyone – rich and poor – with the same dignity and inclusiveness. Many people I know would not consider sharing a bench with the “unknown” homeless person. And she, she sits down and shares with them. Not just the bench. She acknowledges them as fellow human beings.

I may be impressed because I would have reservations myself. She doesn’t do it as an act of courage. Or, an “act” at all. She does it, OF COURSE. That is why it is so special.

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