Do you find yourselves these days struggling to find empathy for those working with the oil industry? I say "those" as it doesn't make sense to empathize with an institution such as "big oil" or the "oil industry" or the "US government." If we bring the frame a reference down to an individual, and not some conspiracy plot or organizational indifference or even purposeful neglect, where do you find your empathy level for others that were in the chain of cause and effect for the gulf oil spill? Perhaps you choose to not have empathy for others. I work on this because out of empathy and an open heart, amazing choices come before me that allow me to give and receive life giving actions.
First I ask, who is impacted and how? It is helpful to be as specific as possible as to individuals and to their needs. I believe the first step is begin with one's self. If we can't find a way to meet our own needs for empathy or to connect with other needs, it is not likely that we can mourn in the ways that are most beneficial, and then to have empathy for others.
What needs come up for you in terms of the oil spill? Beauty? Health? Biodiversity? Protection? Take time to connect to these needs before going on to any others.
Birds - which species? So far impacted are pelicans, gannets, terns. Others? What are their needs? Health, food, reproduction, water, protection?
Reptiles - sea turtles
Mammals - dolphins, whales
Oil spill cleanup and rescue crews. What are their needs?
Tourist industry workers
Real estate workers
BP oil rig workers and the family members of those who died or were injured
BP managers and executives
Government employees in regulation industry
Now, having gone through this exercise, do you have any requests of yourself or others?
For me, during this exercise I came up with a request that didn't exist before. For our congregation's upcoming Animal Blessing Service on June 6th, I will devote part of the service to the oil spill.
What is yours to do?