Thus, these two voices harmonize our frustration, but their song, which once carried promise, is coalescing into a drone, a monotone chant.
But then a third voice sounds. I begin to hear the words of my parish priest who, just this past Sunday, amidst the cries of brought-to-be-baptized-babies, taught on Jesus' parable of the talents, sometimes called the parable of the investors. In this difficult and depressing parable, a master entrusts three servants with some money. Two of the servants invest and reap a profit, but the third, afraid to invoke the wrath of the master by potentially losing his money, buries it in the ground. When the master returns he is pleased with those who have invested, and angry with the servant who did not.
It is easy to misunderstand this parable as an approbation of Wall Street and investment banking, but, as my priest explained, it is actually about one's outlook. The third servant takes stock of his situation and is afraid; he chooses to do nothing rather than risk facing his master's anger. And he is punished.
My generation, whether writing critical essays about our parents' generation or choosing "nothing to do but occupy," are burying our master's talents when the times call for us to invest our gifts. I've come to believe in the promise of the Occupy Movement, and I've long advocated for more of my generation to take to their keyboards in an effort to write change into effect. In both cases, however, we have to go beyond complaining and camping, we need to find a way to advocate and to act. Admittedly, this won't be easy; it will require creative solutions often found in unexpected places.
Jonathan D. Fitzgerald is the managing editor of Patrolmag.com, and writes on the various manifestations of Christianity in culture. Follow him on Twitter or at his website, www.jonathandfitzgerald.com.