Have you ever felt a strong desire to infuse real meaning to your life? The wherewithal to make this happen is within your reach. At this time in history, we are all needed to make a difference through sharing our personal gifts. Leaving this world without expressing who you really are is truly a loss to humanity. We all can make an impact through knowing our purpose in life and the gifts we bring to the world.
There are many ways to identify our gifts beginning with knowing ourselves, our beliefs, our passions, and our unexamined assumptions. Let’s explore this last one by trying on a different perspective of how we might live in this world and how the way we are currently showing up may be impacting our fellow human beings. I asked this very question of myself several years ago and became shocked at what surfaced in regards to my belief system, and the way the unintended outcomes of the decisions I made affected each and every moment of the day.
An unexamined assumption is a fact taken for granted that drives a belief and creates an opening for consequences to show up. One example this could be the thought pattern, “If I want something, I must need it. If I want it and need it, somehow I am entitled to have it. I have worked hard and belong to a class of people who have access to these things. Plus, things will make me happy.” Are you tethered to a life where you have convinced yourself that happiness does not exist in the manner our culture created?
Ask yourself this question: “Where are my unintended outcomes showing up?” Most often they appear in the lives of the marginalized in our society and in developing countries. We live in a world of speed and immediacy for wanting it “now” without thinking about our impact on our fellow brothers and sisters. Our greed and disconnect from other people and life forms continues to plunder Mother Earth and leave marginalized human beings thirsting to share in the so-called “good life.” Personally, I no longer want to live blindly and would like to question my every decision about the way I am living.
I would like to invite you to play with the following unexamined assumptions and to identify some of your own. Get to know your beliefs and who you are being in the world at this time of exponential change.
Just the Beginning of Some
- My comfort is more important than the suffering of others.
- I have compassion for others who don’t have what I have and there isn’t anything I can do about it.
- The way I am living has nothing to do with the torrential rains and drought that my fellow human beings are dealing with in their area.
- Climate change does not exist. I don’t need to concern myself with this. I have my own challenges to handle.
- Scientists will find a solution to the problems that exist. They always do.
- The natural world, the Earth, exists to satisfy the needs and desires of human beings.
- More is better.
- Progress is growth and growth is progress. A healthy society depends on a growing economy. It is our job to consume to generate that growth.
- We own the land we live on.
- I have worked hard and I deserve to have the luxuries of life because I have earned them.
- We deserve cheap gasoline so we can keep prices low and continue to live how we have been living for decades.
- Having many children is good. We have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. I will turn a blinds eye to the effect of having 9 billion people on the planet by 2050. After all, I won’t be alive then anyway.
- My children will have more material things and a bigger life than I had.
- One little individual can’t make a difference.
- I can throw things away. Where is away?
- It is okay to buy a lot of items as long as I recycle them. I will turn a blind eye to the cost of recycling and the use of precious fuel to do so.
- I won’t recycle this bottle because I don’t know what bin it goes in and I don’t want to look ignorant while I figure it out. Also, my time is too valuable for this minutia.
- I want a new newspaper. It is yucky reading one that belonged to someone else. What if they had dirty hands when they read it?
- I don’t have time to learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that swirls for hundreds of miles across the North Pacific Ocean. I throw my garbage away in the proper container bins. It never blows or lands in rivers or streams floating into the ocean to be caught in the floating junk yard created by humans.
- I deserve to retain my family traditions of buying presents rather than focusing on deeply connecting with my loved ones on holidays. I would rather it be about presents than people.
- It is tacky to wrap a gift in newspaper comics or to reuse wrapping paper.
- It is okay to throw away young people (in detention homes) for a mistake they made even though it is the same mistake my child made and got away with when they were younger.