The Common Good

#OccupyWallStreet: A Generation Finds Its Voice

Free haircuts at the #OccupyWallStreet protests in NYC last week.

Like many of my contemporaries, I found the non-violent protests in Egypt that led to regime change earlier this year terribly inspiring. But, also like many in my generation, I never thought such a movement could happen here.

I had seen people my age start successful businesses, become pop-stars and even play a key role in partisan political campaigns, but I had never seen them develop and sustain a social movement.

Sure there have been more focused shifts around issues like educational equity, LGBT rights or global poverty that my generation has had a hand in shaping, but nothing that quite had the look or the feel of what I imagined the anti-War or Civil Rights movements of the 1960s to have been. I assumed we -- my contemporaries ( I'm 27) -- simply didn't possess the interest or the will-power to accomplish something that big.

I was wrong.

It isn't clear yet what immediate or enduring effects the Occupy movement will have on our current economic or political situation. But, there are three things that I believe have the potential to significantly shape a whole generation -- and perhaps the future of our nation.

First, a generation -- my generation -- is learning how to act. More importantly, we are learning how to act collectively. And what makes this of lasting significance is that we are seeing some results.

For much of its life, my generation has the ability to broadcast our thoughts and ideas around the globe, 24/7, but we hadn't felt heard

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