THE BLOG

Cap and Trade? Or the Law of Human Decency?

11/30/2012 11:12 am ET | Updated Jan 28, 2013

Yesterday I was driving -- getting on the freeway actually -- and out of me came a scream "W-A-K-E U-P!"

It was more like a guttural howl that came from somewhere below the ground, a rumbling. It was spontaneous, so fervent and deep that I was completely taken by it. It was primal. It came from the part of me that remembers I am the earth. I am here to honor and preserve life. The steward. The mother. It released something in me, and I began to sob.

I have no idea who I was screaming at, but I was listening to NPR, where they were discussing environmental policy, cap and trade to be exact. Now, I do not really know what the policy or law is, but my response was not intellectual. There was a woman representing the business community and she was saying "we have a law and we intend to comply with the law." It was clear she did not agree with the law, was not happy about the law, and did not see the importance of curbing environmental degradation. She had, however, resigned herself to do it, only because it was a law to which it was necessary to comply.

Here was a woman, whose body can bring forth life, who is inherently and instinctively connected to creation, who had seemingly denied this part of herself just to do her job. She was going to comply with the law, simply because it was the law, but what about the law that comes by way of our birth? Something that drives us to preserve life? What about the law of respect for life? A responsibility that comes with human consciousness? This situation drove home an awareness that these vastly important inner laws have ceased to be our governing principle. I believe it is our responsibly as human beings to care for what has been given to us. To care for each other, the land and those without a voice or power in this world. Do we really give up individual responsibility when laws get made? Do we?

I think about this woman and wonder what kind of pain she might be in... a pain she probably cannot allow herself to feel, probably does not know she feels (I am certain she would argue with me about this) because she has denied this part of herself for so long. But I know that place, and when I allow myself to feel it, the pain is absolutely excruciating. This wound is great. For years I ignored this inner voice, denied what it meant to be a woman -- my deep sensitivity and desire to respond to those in need around me. I kept silent in the face of serious inequity. I played the game so I would not be destroyed and could have some "power" in this world, but the cost to me was great. The lie I told myself came crashing down, and I was left with this deep pit of sorrow and grief that needed and still needs my attention.

I don't blame this woman. I am her, but the pain of this denial is almost inconsolable... and as demonstrated may come out while getting on the freeway.

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