Saturday, July 3, 2010

Who Cares About Oil and Gas Leaking into the Gulf of Mexico?

Who cares about oil and gas leaking into the Gulf of Mexico, ruining the ecosystem and killing millions of animals? Lots of people. And I can also tell you about someone who doesn't.

Yesterday, while driving home from the grocery store, I turned a corner and found myself behind a car that had slowed to almost a complete stop, right next to a Catholic church and school. While I waited for the car to begin moving, I witnessed the driver, an elderly lady in her 60's, hold a plastic grocery bag out her window and begin to shake it until it became dislodged and floated to the ground. It was immediately caught by the wind and blown towards me.

As a spiritually minded person, I was rather surprised that my body decided to react before I could really observe the emotional state that I found myself to be in. I began tooting my horn at her. Not a long drawn out angry horn honk, but a series of short ones. I saw her look into the rear view mirror and see me so I pointed out at the plastic bag which was slowly making its way to the side of the street where the school was at.

I became even more surprised at myself as I proceeded to follow her slowly when she decided to make a break for it. She sped up, but not too much since we were in a school zone, and made an immediate right turn. I turned right also and was fully intending to stop but was even more surprised when I began following her. I knew full well that this was probably crossing a line. I mean what in the world would I do if she stopped? People in this City got shot with guns for harrassing other drivers.

The problem was that I didn't have my kids in the car, and I really wanted to tell this woman that what she was doing, in my humble opinion, was ludicrous. I mean, here we were staring at a man-made disaster of world-wide devastating proportions, and here SHE was just dumping her plastic bag out the window of her car. The very idea of it really started to steam my britches and I really felt that I could lose touch with that loving side of me if I didn't stop the car. I decided to circle back around the block and to go pick up the bag.

The lady in her car was obviously trying to get away, and this told me intuitively that she wouldn't be throwing plastic out of her car any time soon, judging by the way she hurriedly turned the corners to get away. I turned right to go back to the scene of her crime and she went left, probably going completely out of her way. I wish I could say that I resented my actions, but strangely enough, I didn't. I know deep down that I wouldn't have yelled at her, but I also knew that I certainly had it in me to tell her about the giant vortex of trash in the Pacific ocean, which is the size of Texas, and contains plastic just like the kind she threw out her window.

I took a page from Debbie Ford's book, The Shadow Effect (co-written with Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson), and I embraced this little shadow of mine that popped up and took control of the car for a brief time.  I know that this is the part of me that cares so deeply for the planet, our Earth, and that this part of me has always been passionate, for as long as I can remember. I love that part of myself and I intend to use it. Maybe not to chase elderly litter-bugs around the block, but certainly to help raise more awareness. It's not just the oil companies who destroy our Mother Earth, its us too.