In the wake of the BP oil spill, we face a major environmental disaster. Hundreds of animals are dead, and even more are in danger. It could take years for affected areas to fully recover.
As cleanup efforts are ongoing, engineers are still trying to work out the best method to control or stop the oil. Countless environmental lessons can be gleaned from this catastrophe, and BP and the World as a whole will hopefully learn from the mistakes that were made.
While the focus is currently centered on what lessons the spill has taught us about drilling, safety, and the environment, we can also gather a number of lessons about life when we step back and look at the big picture. We have asked contributors to share with us some life lessons they have learned and questions for the general population to reflect on as a result of the oil spill.
1.) It should not take a disaster like the BP oil spill to remind us about interdependence and responsibility. We must stop taking responsibility after the fact and using it as an act of contrition - but rather proactively engage in responsible decision making which considers the ramifications of our actions before we engage in them. Apology does not obviate responsibility. Increasingly, technology and urbanization have allowed us to distance ourselves from other people and other living things. When we honored our tribal origins - we were far more aware of how our actions impacted not just ourselves, but everyone and everything around us. My kindergartener warns me to carefully discard plastic, lest a dolphin choke. At the end of the day, taking responsibility means embedding our actions in a context of other, rather than self. 6 year olds get that. CEOs should too.
2.) The more risk you have and the more groups involved, the more you put systems in place to check, re-check and re-check what is going on in great detail. This applies to any part of life, health, environment, business, relationships, spiritual life, workplace issues, and everything else. This is no time to hang out in la la land. Get into the nitty gritty.
Dr. Linne Bourget
3.) Spiritually, everything happens for a reason and there is always a higher positive purpose, so stay tuned and look for it. Be careful not to send more negative energy or judgment into the Gulf, but send them positive thoughts of healing for people, economy, and environment.
Dr. Linne Bourget
4.) Do scenario planning IN ADVANCE for what might happen and pre-test your solutions so you can mitigate the negative consequences for all involved when the crisis comes. Working in very difficult circumstances, do not assume you can easily fix what crises may erupt.
Dr. Linne Bourget
5.) Just as BP execs are scrambling, so should we. What part of you is leaking energy so profusely it cannot be controlled? How much of your life and the lives of others will be destroyed because you refused to move on to more sustainable forms of energy? What once was your black gold? Pounds of caffeine or sugar, drugs or drama? Hanging onto a deadly job? A harmful relationship? The hole has burst open. Nothing will close it. Is it too late to repair the damage? When will you finally let go and move on? What will it take?
Rebecca Elia, MD
6.) Each of us has the power to reduce, reuse, or recycle...be it by taking shorter showers, using energy-efficient light bulbs, taking cloth bags to the grocery store, or one of the many other great ways we can conserve. If the BP oil spill (not to mention other recent hurricanes, tsunamis, and fires) has taught us anything, it's that we need to take responsibility for our actions...and also be willing to make a change. We're well past the point of pointing fingers and blaming others. Every person on the planet must be willing to do their part. Our future...and our children's future...are depending on it!
7.) Did BP get caught up in the 'It can't happen to us' mentality? Leaders and companies need to regularly assess the most likely areas where their hidden risks might occur.
8.) We MUST learn to stop letting lobby money talk over the voice of common sense and obvious safety. The first response often resorts to a knee-jerk reaction, like "let's stop all drilling", but it is not a proper use of given resources. We must be energy independent, and safety must always be thought out in worse case scenarios. Deep water drilling is a disaster waiting to happen - a time bomb - forced on by "environmentalists" really masked as policymakers for their industry. It is high time real people who love and appreciate the beauty of our nation be allowed to the decision table. Everyday people who don't make a buck over the outcome, but value the blessings of nature. Money must stop making policy decisions.
9.) I think there's a big difference between lessons offered and lessons learned. There's no doubt that the gulf oil spill is offering a post-graduate course in how to live on planet earth (and how not to), but will anyone learn? Will we understand that the spill was caused by greed? Our greed for oil and the oil company's greed for money. Will we learn that it was caused by laziness? Ours for driving everywhere and the oil company's for the shortcuts they took in drilling. And will anyone bother to understand the "why" of it all? Will anyone understand that they were drilling out there, and taking that risk, because that's where the oil is now? We've pumped all of the easy stuff, and the new stuff is going to be tough, expensive and nasty. Will anyone learn that this was caused by our insatiable appetite for oil, and that as we pass the peak of global oil production, these horrific environmental disasters can only become more common. When will we ever learn?
10.) I had a mentor named Wilma Leverenz when I was in my early twenties who used to say two things to me. The first was The 8Ts. "Take the Time to Think Through Things Thoroughly", and as this story has unfolded about how the oil spill happened, clearly the risks were not properly weighed and thought through, and mass destruction ensued. The second thing that she told me was "Feelings Are Not Facts". So despite how we might feel about something, or someone, it is not a guarantee that we are right about our assumptions about the situation, the person or their motives. And finally the third tool that I live by is "It is what it is", and this is like anything else. As soon as we accept circumstances exactly as they are the sooner we will be effective at dealing with the problem. Collectively, we bear a responsibility. Individually we can respond in ways that turn this horrible event into something positive.
What life lessons have you learned from the oil spill? What do you think the World stands to learn? We invite you to share your thoughts with us below in the comments sections.
This posting was compiled by Editor Sam Etkin of SelfGrowth.com, the number one self improvement resource on the Web. For more quality self improvement content, please visit http://www.selfgrowth.com
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Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Posted by The Wealthy Attitude at 6/30/2010