I was listening to a report on the recent cool down we’ve been experiencing across North America. Winter has blustered in early this year and is even impacting California of all places. We’ve had subfreezing temperatures at night for over a week now in Davis California… And it’s cold!
The report’s discussion shifted to talk of “What ever happened to global warming?” said the interviewer. “Oh, now it’s referred to a climate change. And we may in fact be heading to an ice age”, said the interviewee.
Weather extremes have become the normal in the last 10 years. And the finger has always been pointed back squarely at humans for causing the problem. Except we may not be the problem at all! There is discuss going on currently that climate change may be driven by the Sun, sunspots and solar activity. Human activity may only account for a small fraction of what is driving our climate into chaos.
It occurred to me as I was listening that I was on the edge of my seat. I was trying to figure out how it was my fault, and what I should be angry about. It took me a few minutes to really settle in with what I was thinking, and I realized my subconscious was really saying: “Please tell me what I should feel GUILTY about. There has to be something!”
The Sun is too distant and beyond our control. How can I feel guilty for my sins if they are manifested by a power far beyond my control?
The power of the Sun, while often taken for granted, is truly awesome. Each day we are dependent on it for our lives, so dependent that we take it as a given, like the ground beneath our feet.
Stop to consider the Sun. It is so large that 1,000,000 (one million) earths could fit inside it’s volume. It is so powerful that the same energy that we experience here on earth every day is sent out in all directions regardless of whether there is a planet to benefit, the sun doesn’t only shine on us it shines in all directions, every day! 24 x 7 x 365!!!
So bringing this all back around to me. After all, it is all about me. I live in a culture of control and accountability. I have the ability, or rather have been offered the illusion of it, to control my environment. By corollary everything that happens in my environment is my fault. The media plays it up. Churches play it up. Advertisers capitalize on it. Everybody at one time or another tugs on our guilt strings, pointing the finger of shame directly at us.
Now don’t get me wrong.
I’m not saying we are victims of fate. And I’m not saying that we can just stop caring cause it’s all out of our hands. There are choices we make every day that can have impact and make the world a better place.
But I am saying that we can give guilt a rest. I am saying that there are great many things so powerful that they are simply outside of our control.
I am saying that when the climate drops to 20 degrees cooler than your average temperature for the season. Don’t feel guilty for driving a car. Instead find a homeless person and buy them a cup of coffee, or give them an extra shirt.
Focusing our energy on problems beyond our control is a waste of energy and a distraction from problems we can actually do something about. Today try to find someone that needs your help, and avoid the people or situations that only ask for your guilt. You can make a positive difference in the world.