Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Elephant Hunter

Most of the people and businesses I deal with on a daily basis talk and act as if the current set of conditions will continue forever, focusing on tweaking what they are comfortable with so they can get the upper hand in the competition for resources and power. There is a palpable feeling that if anyone challenges their basic assumptions, the challenger is simply promoting a favorite fad rather than anything worth being seriously concerned about. The global crises of depleted fossil fuels, species extinction, and catastrophic climate change are the proverbial elephants in the room, which no one wants to acknowledge, much less deal with. Unfortunately, the “room” is in serious danger of being destroyed by those elephants.

I live in two realities. In one of them, I am an outspoken challenger of basic ideas and perceptions; trying to find a cohesive view of the world and what is needed to make it better for everyone and everything that inhabits it. In the other reality, I am an upper-middle class professional, working with his family and business clients to meet personal and financial goals consistent with the current expectations of our society. In the first reality, I am an elephant hunter. In the second reality, I am aligned with the elephant deniers.

The source of difficulty is that my personality strongly favors empathy: When others are uncomfortable, I am too. The sad truth, which I am taking far too long to admit and deal with, is that I have no power to protect others beyond educating them. The “elephant hunter” must ultimately become my dominant role.

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