As a Medicine Woman and spiritual counselor, I consider it an honor to be invited into someone’s process. It is a privilege to be entrusted with someone’s innermost feelings, memories, and experiences. Over four decades of my life, I have walked a path of service in this capacity. People from all walks of life have worked with me, from homemakers to politicians, people in the entertainment industry, athletes, and quite a few people from Wall Street.
I am deeply saddened by the disparaging, ugly labels that get slapped onto groups of people, which dehumanizes them, making it easier to hate them. We’ve all seen this happen throughout history. It seems like sooner or later, everybody gets a turn. As a Clairvoyant Empath, I have never understood this. When I’m working with someone, all I see is the soul. That’s all I’m interested in. The soul and the journey towards wholeness and joy.
On 9/11, I had a number of clients and close friends who worked in finance. On Wall Street. I have had clients who worked for Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and a host of other hedge funds and investment groups. When those planes flew into the World Trade Center towers, I was beside myself. People I loved were down there working. One of my closest friends had a late morning meeting in one of the towers. She came up out of the subway to a rain of ash and debris, and a cloud of burning smoke. The towers had just collapsed. Had the meeting been an hour earlier, she would have died.
I counseled clients who had lost family and friends. I was taking a one year program on Chinese herbs with Taoist Master Dr Jeffrey Yuen at the time. In Chinatown on St. James Place, a few blocks from Ground Zero. Driving down the West Side Highway along the Hudson River, the furthest point you could get to was Canal Street, which was my exit. Below that was blocked off by jersey barriers. The police were everywhere. So was the National Guard. The stench was unbelievable. People were wearing masks. It was hard to breathe.
As I listen today to politicians railing against Wall Street, and income inequality, ( which of course is a real thing), what strikes me is how easy it is to forget that these companies are made up of human beings, with children, bills, stresses, hopes, dreams, and issues, just like the rest of us. By lumping thousands of people together into a faceless group called “Wall Street”, it strips them of their humanity, and that is a terrible thing. There is no such thing as “Wall Street” in the way that they mean it. Wall Street is a place. A place where human beings work, who have chosen finance and investments as a career path. It is so unfair to judge others based on the kind of work that interests them. And Heaven forbid, if anyone in politics gives a paid talk or lecture there… ** Gasp!** Oh! No! What, are there evil finance cooties that are going to slime them after a speech there?
Each of my friends and clients from these large firms are people with honor and integrity. They all worked with Dr. Yuen, all meditated, all had their own spiritual path. All of them were, and are, lovely human beings.
My point here is that rhetoric that is divisive accomplishes only one thing: It preys on people’s fears and frustrations, their anger, and a feeling of hopelessness. It devolves into 7 second sound bytes that are basically meaningless. It is propaganda, pure and simple. The problems we face are complex ones, certainly. And there are those, in all walks of life, that are power hungry and greedy. We will always need to stand guard and have safeguards in place to prevent those people from harming the rest of us. I believe that scapegoating an entire group misses the point, and allows the real wrongdoers to escape responsibility. The economic collapse we experienced came from a number of factors that I don’t need to go into here. If we want to call for finance reform, we should do that. If we want more regulations and oversight, we should pass laws to effect that change. Using phrases and words that incite and anger people,( intentionally, I believe,) is just a manipulative strategy to whip people up, and to get votes. It sickens me.
The American Express company commissioned a memorial to honor the eleven employees who lost their lives on 9/11. Called “Eleven Tears”, it is a huge 1100 lb Quartz Crystal cut and polished by renowned Crystal artist Lawrence Stoller. It is suspended over a pool of water, with the names of those that died carved into the pool. It is an exquisite work of art, a living expression of light and energy honoring what we all lost that day, but more importantly, what we all should remember: Wall Street is a place where wonderful people work. They make their living in finance. They are souls, just like the rest of us, on a journey, just like the rest of us. I am honored to call a number of them my friends. I love them. I hope this perspective is helpful. Blessings, Judith
** The Eleven Tears 9/11 Memorial is open to the public.