I awoke this morning with the thought: let go of all that does not serve your purpose.

Upon pondering this thought and in the context of my own experience and in the experiences that I witness being played out by others, I came upon a realization that although we are always who we are at our core (where our purpose resides), we are either living in awareness of what that is or have it hidden from us based on whether we were molded to be, in myriad ways, or whether we were guided through our choices. This is, of course, nothing new. I am simply catching up more deeply to something discovered in a series of workshops back in 2007-2008.

Like many, perhaps most, children, I was required to behave in a manner conforming to societal expectations. This has been the acceptable mode for generations. Some of us are lucky enough to at some point, usually later in life, begin shedding that behavioral programming. One of the simplest examples I can give of this programming is the expectation of altruism, the concept of doing for others. I still witness this, this programming our children to think of others first. Now, don’t get me wrong, the concept is a good one, just not when it is programmed through typical behavior modification. The concept is best applied and most effective for all concerned when we arrive at it by choice. And, it is sad, really, because children can be very altruistic. There are, in fact, plenty of opportunities to nurture this tendency, but we seem to miss those and, instead, force the behavior in situations where it is not naturally present. Or, we miss asking the right questions to invite the choice.

As a result, we end up with many of our adult society begrudgingly living life for everyone else, self-molding to external expectations. This was my experience, and one that I witness now as fairly common, perhaps because I am on my journey of breaking free from it. I find it sad that so many are living a life of conforming to others’ expectations and suffering in the process. This has led to a great victimization cycle in society – meeting expectations then subconsciously begrudging and blaming everyone else for programmed choices. The rules have changed, and are changing, and those programmed to the old rules are struggling, simply because we have not learned how to make choices based in our own (guided) experience and wisdom.

Now maybe, if you’re following me on this, some have less programming to shed than others, but this has been the norm, subconscious in many ways, for all this time. There is hope, though. Recent generations are revealing a shift, generally speaking. The problem is that it is a shift to extreme, so that many are confounded by what is happening, and younger generations appear a bit lost because, as usual, parents come with good intentions but a lack of know-how. We haven’t developed the most effective process for nurturing our children to choose wisely and within the context of existing societal rules. The result seems to be a generation of rebellion against those societal norms. I remain hopeful, though, because the problem has been so changed up that we are looking at it differently, and it provides us opportunity to affect a more effective solution.

I’ve been listening to NPR / WBEZ several times a day as usual.  Seems every two to three stories has something to do with the oil spill in the Gulf.  I’ve heard how experts are trying different tactics to cap the exit point, talks with oceanographers and those who were able to learn something from the Exxon-Mobil disaster, chats with locals about the losses of livelihood and lately it’s been an inquiry into what caused this to happen.

Are we really there already?  Don’t get me wrong, BP owes a great whopping contribution to what is being deemed the greatest ecological disaster the world has ever known, and my hope is that this is all this is.  My fear is that it will give plenty of angry, fearful people a witch to burn, that we’ll enter the long disastrous spiral of a blame game so that we needn’t recognize the part every single one of us has played in leading us to creating a gaping wound under the sea on mother Earth.  We have no idea what this means for our existence on Earth in the coming decades, centuries, quite possibly the next millenium.  I find it hard to believe that we no longer suffer effects from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  But I digress.

What comes to mind is some words of Christ I’ve always found quite poignant.  Let he who is without sin cast the first stone…  When we are hurt, it is our human nature to “throw stones”, look for blame, reject any responsibility we have for a situation.  It is also human nature to overestimate the positive and underestimate the negative, and I would venture this point is key to just about any disaster of this kind.  We anticipate all the “great” we can get out of a venture and completely overlook the possible damage we could cause.  Let me say again, this is human nature, folks.  Yes, BP has an inordinate amount of responsibility for this situation given it is their rig that buckled.  All I want to get across is that it could have happened to any of the oil companies, and although the others claim surprise that BP lacked in its precautions; they have also gone so far as to say that none of them would have been prepared for such a situation. 

Yes, every single one of us should be worried and recognize the part we have played simply by owning a gas-powered vehicle or using plastic for that matter.  I’m not saying we should ban all carbon-based products.  Any extreme is ludicrous in my mind.  I’m just wanting us each to take responsibility for the part we have played as individuals, communities, societies and cultures by the simple use of these products.

I am also of the mind that when it comes to a solution and clean-up, it should involve both BP and the government.  And, we might look to BP and its peers to create a panel of folks who know the most about both to lead the effort.  Only because I’ve also heard the debate of whether BP should continue to lead the charge or the government should take over.  And in this case, no one, as far as I can tell, solely has the knowledge, skills or capacity to deal with this crisis.  I’d like us to recognize that both, plus many more, heads in this are better than either on its own.  I’d like us to focus on the solution more than solve “who done it”, because that’s the only way I see us getting out of this mess as a global society.