Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Finding Perfection in the Oil Spill
I drive a car. It's a small car and I think nothing about driving the hour to Fresno to shop, buying stuff I need and lots of stuff I just want and, too often, stuff I didn't even know I wanted till I saw it.
I live in a house. It's a small house but when I'm cold, I turn up the thermostat and when it's dark, or even dim, I flip a switch.
I carry my groceries home in plastic bags even though I try to remember to bring my own, I give my granddaughters crayons, wear glasses to help me see, walk on carpet, apply hand lotion liberally, water my garden with a hose and then sit on patio furniture to watch it grow reaching for a cool drink in a plastic glass. I wash my hair with shampoo, talk on a telephone, work on a computer, put tires on my car and hire people to cart away all the stuff I no longer want.
In other words, I swim in a sea of oil ... as do we all. The gulf oil spill is a tragedy regardless of whether it was caused by negligence or was simply a freak accident. The magnitude of this event is still unknown and it is almost impossible to think about it in terms of "perfection." And, yet, there may be a deep perfection that bubbles to the surface along with the oil that already covers an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.
Instead of considering BP, or the oil industry in general, as the bad guy in this scenario, perhaps we will finally start to look at how each of us have created the environment where this type of catastrophic potential exists in order to feed our addiction to cheap energy and throw-away goods. Perhaps, years from now, we will look back on April 20, 2010, as the day we started to get serious about how we can sustainably use the resources our planet so generously offers us.
That would be a form of perfection.