Saturday, May 22, 2010

the source of wisdom

You can think and speculate til the cows come home, but everything you actually do can become the source of wisdom. Sometimes the wisdom is hard earned and downright painful, and sometimes you can go through the painful lessons without actually learning anything. It all boils down to attention. "Are you here now?" And what are you doing about it?

I just came in from mowing the grass and was using the exercise to explore a few connected concepts. There is a squeeze bar on my mower that is intended to shut the machine down when the operator is no longer in his or her safe position of control. This device was mandated by the Consumer Products Safety Administration because too many people were doing dumb things, and some would regard it angrily as a government mandated inconvenience. But there are real idiots out there, like the MD who disabled the squeeze bar so he could lift his mower in both hands and use it as a hedge trimmer. He picked it up and immediately cut the tips from his fingers. I suspect he learned a few things from his experience... lessons that the regulators at the CPSA had very sincerely hoped he might avoid.

So, I am grateful for a bit of government regulation. As we begin to know less and less from our own personal experience, there become more and more things from which we will need to be protected.

Do you know how much money BP spent in lobbying efforts to avoid government regulation of oil drilling in the gulf? I consider it the teenage-boy-thing, trying to get away with things when the grownups aren't watching. A teenage boy thinks he knows lots better about things, even though his cerebral cortex is not fully developed. BP, showing obvious signs of corporate immaturity, tried to skirt the regulations, and took risks equivalent to the redneck teen jumping head first in shallow water crying as his last complete sentence on earth, "Hey watch this!"

Regulation is a good thing. I draw a comparison with my writing. A good editor makes me a better writer. Good regulators and reasonable regulations would have saved BP over a billion dollars, and saved the Gulf environment, and saved millions of people from tremendous heart-ache and monetary loss. Good regulators would have saved British Petroleum from themselves and us all the consequences of their idiocy.

Yesterday we had a shooting incident in Arkansas where two men, stoked toward a violent rage by anti-government rhetoric on Fox News and the internet, killed police officers. Do you see the pattern? I hope so.

I can tell you a few interesting things about work. Work in the real world, doing hand work or hard work or both work can be one of two things depending on your attitude. You work with joy toward personal fulfillment and expression of care, or you do not. One path leads to wisdom, the other does not. As we work, dependent on that choice, we either stew in things and grow angry or we become expansive through our thoughts of those things we might contribute toward the greater good.

I know there are some who have wondered, "If the use of the hands makes you smart, why doesn't it work with all people?" If you think about this, and how we use our hands and hearts in relation to the mind, perhaps you will know the answer.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:55 AM

    How sad to see the level of anger that is being fueled. What a terrible thing to have those officers killed like that.