We All Share the Blame

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Few people want to take responsibility for their actions that cause negative consequences and even fewer would want to take responsibility for someone else’s. Hearing that the U.S. alone emits four times the amount of greenhouse gasses compared to other countries is not something new to me and I have recently tried to take responsibility to minimize my impact on the environment as well as climate change. But the reality is that the effects of climate change will affect everyone and therefore the responsible falls on all of us. The Lesson 07 Contemplative Practice: Climate Complexity was an interesting exercise because it revealed the collective effort needed to combat the negative effects of climate change. A few years ago, I never considered how my actions impacted global climate change. I felt that I was only one individual among many where my actions, regardless of the extent, would do very little to be impactful. Perhaps this mentality was because of me being distant and disassociated from the earth. Having that distant mindset meant that I could deny all responsibility because it wasn’t my problem.

This exercise helped to bring me to reposition myself and contemplate on where I fit in among a changing world. In this contemplative practice, picturing myself as an inhabitant of this earth helped me to break those barriers I placed between the earth and myself and also realize that I am a key player with the power to change things even if those changes seem small. I have a basic philosophy when performing basic maintenance on a vehicle or cleaning a firearm. If I take care of it, it will take care of me. This concept can easily be translated to taking care of the earth in the long run. When I came to this realization, I couldn’t help but to be mad at myself for not seeing this sooner. I lived a large part of my life cruising along, not taking into consideration the power I have to be able to change the earth for the better. It also makes me wonder how many other people continue to live life with the distant mindset I used to have. I now understand that we as individuals all share a part of the blame for the effects of global climate change, but we also have the power to do something about it.




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