My first response was to roll my eyes at both the message and the larger movement. And my second was to think, “Yeah, so am I. So what?”
But after a short, mental diatribe against the pointlessness of envy (Which Wikipedia surprisingly defines quite nicely as not only the resentment “that another person has something they perceive as lacking, but also [the] wish [for] the other person to be deprived of” it.), my third reaction was to really contemplate the bumper sticker and what it really meant.
Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I am most definitely in the 99% of wealth distribution in this country. And sure, I would someday like to be in the 1%.
But unlike the Occupy Wall Street movement and its followers, I want to make my money on my own merit, based on my own hard work, ingenuity and success.
- I want to write the next New York Times best-selling novel that gets everybody buzzing about a possible Hollywood contract.
- I want to air my opinions in such a captivating way that I grow a significantly sized audience (and enough advertising revenue to hire a proofreader who can catch my inevitable spelling and grammar mistakes).
- I want to become an editor for some top-notch publishing company, where I can foster authors to produce works they can be proud of instead of the badly executed rough drafts that keep hitting the shelves these days.
And I want to profit from it all. (Yes, I know I used the P-word. Deal with it.) But I want those profits because I earned them.
There’s absolutely no honor in accepting coerced handouts from the 1%. Nor is there any future in it, since there is only so much the 99% can bleed from the 1% before they fall over dead and drained.
And since I’m not a financial vampire, that parasitic lifestyle with its short-term benefits just doesn’t appeal to me.
Hard work and perseverance, however, have much better long-term results. Because even if I somehow don’t succeed through circumstances beyond my control, I can at least stand on the knowledge that I gave it my all, which is something to be proud of.
So yes, I am the 99%. And that’s really ok for now.