Lights OutPosted: September 10, 2011
My computer went off in mid-sentence and then I noticed that the air conditioner and every other electric machine were also off. A phone call confirmed that the power outage was all over the neighborhood. That was at 4:30 PM. By 8:30 that night we all knew that the San Diego area from Yuma to Tijuana was going to be without power for at least eight and possibly 24 hours.
When it became clear that the power outage was raining on the just as well as the unjust, it also became clear that the only thing I could only control was my personal behavior. The rest was up to SDG&E and I would have to wait it out.
My first thought was gratitude for all the flashlights at my fingertips; my daughter and son-in-law live only ½ mile away and they are the kind of people who believe in taking good care of mama. I always have water, canned goods, flashlights and spare batteries on hand.
They even came down to visit and we shared a dinner of scrambled eggs and veggies cooked on the gas stove by flashlight. Then we ate the ice cream in the freezer telling ourselves it would otherwise melt and we didn’t want to waste it. Despite the darkness and our lapsed diets, there is always a payoff in any difficulty.
I went to bed earlier than usual and slept fairly well despite being unable to raise my beautiful electric bed up and down. The lights went on again at 5:30 in the morning. That’s the end of my story.
The point of writing about this at all is that sometimes things happen that we can’t control. I was not responsible for the lights going off or on but I did have choices. I could have panicked or had hysterics. I could have stamped my feet and demanded, “Why me, God? Why me?” I could have blamed the Republicans or the Democrats. I could have said it was God’s punishment because we are all lazy sinners down here in the Land of the Locusts. The list of “could haves” is infinite and we get to pick and choose.
I chose to think about those pioneers who went to bed at sunset every night just to save candles and how they crossed the country, built a nation and lived their lives without electricity. My mother used to talk about what a big deal it was when electric lights came to her hometown of Walnut Grove, MO when she was a girl in the 1920’s. At one time electricity was a miraculous phenomenon but now it is an invention we take for granted. We forget that there are still parts of the world where it doesn’t exist or is only in use a few hours a day.
We also forget that infrastructure – things like roads, bridges, telephones, and electricity are only possible because we can live together in a cooperative, peaceful way. Maybe the best thing about a blackout like ours is that we are reminded how much cooperation and trust goes into creating civilized life.
Right now, we are adjusting to the fact that our lives are so completely connected to other parts of the world, not just the United States and Canada. China impacts our economy, Mexico impacts our food supply and Afghanistan has difficulty training soldiers because most adults can’t read.
This changing world and its extensive interconnection is almost too much to comprehend. Some of us react in fear and want to fight and right now we are in two wars. But war will only destroy and we will need to rebuild even if we win. We must find a way to build cooperation and trust or we will never get what we want on an international level. We must open our minds and hearts to our global village without fear. What is happening is happening. The world is shrinking and whether the issue is outsourcing or international financial exchange, we must build healthy, cooperative connections. .
It seems to me that followers of New Thought are in a perfect place to lead the adjustment to our changing world. Our teaching so clearly supports change and connection and it is totally based on love. We know there is only one Mind, One Heart and One God. Why not add One World? We have many, many choices each day in which to choose love over fear.
Am I resisting change in my life?
Am I blaming others?
Am I choosing to envision world peace and cooperation?