As a young boy, I yearned for my father's love and respect. I learned early what this would require.
Being the brilliant and socially aware man that my father was, he not only foresaw the opportunity of making a great deal of money working on Wall Street, he started grooming me to take my stint as a banker, trader, or mergers and acqusitions laywer.
At 14, I was encouraged to read and ingest Forbes, Fortune and, of course, the bible of ultimate greed, the Wall Street Journal.
I never got a job on Wall Street (other than Starbuck's) and the thought of sitting at a desk working at a bank all day makes me want to set myself on fire.
The reality is that fear and greed go hand in hand.
Many of the folk who have money are as afraid of losing it as people who have none and fear never having enough. If having it produces fear - and not having it produces fear - then when do we start giving up fear and looking at why certain decisions are getting made and who is benefitting from these situations.
With all of the attention being paid to the protests and the greed and sliminess of Wall Street, there is now a need for some serious overhaul in terms of Wall Street and its image.
The first priority is understanding that so many of us are motivated by fear. Knowing this, we can now plan accordingly. The rich and people who have the most to benefit from making loads of money have the fear of being poor or thought of as poor and less than.
Personally, I have always thought it interesting that if you have two million dollars that you would think your life would be better if you got your mitts on another twenty.
What are the huge bonuses designed to do? I read somewhere that some of the bonuses fall into the millions of dollars category. If this is the case, there is much that can be rectified without causing much drama to those who have "worked" for it.
It is always interesting to me that people who sit all day pushing buttons and talking on the phone when not guzzling coffee consider this work of equal or more value than the schoolteacher, the policeman or the person who lovingly and determinedly raises wonderful children.
We don't consider manual labor or consistent and thoughtful use of the mind as working. As a school teacher and artist, I take offense to this belittling of both my professions and passions.
Wall Street take notice; I am here to help. This is how we can solve the problem.
For two years, everyone who normally gets huge bonuses will now forgo them in an effort to "look good" in the eyes of the 99%. Instead of one more pair of overpriced shoes or a snazzier abode in the Hamptons, that money will go towards adopting a much-in-need school.
I have taught and loved children in East Harlem and the South Bronx.
If you'd like to see money go to a great cause adopt a failing school there. When I refer to them as failing, I am referencing having to do so much with way too little.
No one can refer to you as a dirt bag if you are helping some little brown people reach their maximum potential.
Is this charity? A hand out on your part?
Not at all. It is no different than sending your alma mater thousands of dollars (which it probably doesn't need) or putting money into things that only benefit a select few and don't improve the planet's quality. Give up those bonuses and send them to me and I will make sure that they are properly distributed.
I have taught and worked in a variety of places with a variety of young people and some annoying and not always productive adults. Money is not the issue here. We have to change our thinking.
When I worked as a teaching assistant in a very affluent neighborhood, I was paid from a discretionary fund. The parents and guardians of this already extremely privileged group of young people decided that what they wanted was even more resource and privilege. A plan was devised and carried out.
Parental units and the like would financially contribute to a fund which in turn would allow additional instructors (assistants) to be present in the classroom. The cost for six additional adults ready to step in to teach, guide and discipline students within a moment's notice was approximately $80,000.
How much is the average bonus?