This gentleman sitting so peacefully in the middle of “Occupy DC” caught my eye today as I strolled through the park where they have assembled. They have been assembled there for about four months, and the National Park Service has announced that they will be banning them from camping in the park anymore. This caused a frenzy at the protest site, and there was a lot of energy amongst the protesters. Surrounded by reporters, the protesters were very vocal about giving power back to “the 99%”. The message struck me in a curious way – I love the fact that people can express their displeasure in this manner, and makes me think of the many people who have suffered at the hands of oppressors. But the message, to me, was not so much about POWER to the people; rather about EMPOWERING people. I think change starts within each of us, and what we really need to become is empowered to make the choices that effect positive change in our lives. That is part of our work at the Viva Center – helping people understand that they do not have to wait for some one else to bless their actions – that we are the ones who are finding our own path, and the best way to celebrate that, to live that, is to take steps to own our future (and our present) for our own personal betterment.