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Pandora's Box

Posted: 06/24/10 05:00 PM ET

It's strange that the greatest foreshadowing of the BP oil spill may have been a CGI animated movie about blue aliens and their "tree of life." To me, it's also strangely accurate that its setting is a planet named "Pandora."

The story of Pandora's Box may be one of the greatest anecdotes that this generation can take note of. We live in a time where our technology is racing far faster than our morality and/or means to control these developments. This reaches across the board to many industries, be they science, military, entertainment, etc. For us in this day and age, our curiosity and appetite for discovery has turned us into a world of rabid consumers and as a result has opened a door to a myriad of issues like pollution that is depleting our ozone layer and diseases that are killing our families -- these are our own evils unleashed.

While thinking about this man-made catastrophe, I wasn't sure who was to blame. BP seems like the easiest and most culpable target, but honestly how many times do we need to be told to get off the oil as a nation? I know I am as guilty as the next person.

It's important to realize no one wins "the blame game" -- we need to solve the problem first. I think a story that is either not being told or not taking place, is the story of greatness in the face of adversity. Countless times throughout history greatness has come in the face of disaster. We can look to presidential greatness, Kennedy and Johnson passing legislation that upheld civil rights in the opposition of much of the Jim Crow South and post-Jim Crow South. We can look to the money of corporations, an example being The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who are great philanthropists in a time of much scrutiny on "big business". We can look to our fellow humans, such as the great fire fighters and police officers who charged into burning buildings on September 11th knowing that they might not return.

In this particular case of the Gulf spill, we need to look to a different form of greatness. This problem is too big and too hard to be solved by any one group. For this situation, we need to look to one of the kindest forms of greatness -- empathy, coming together and creating a union in order to solve this. A great example of this can be seen in the fight against malaria in Africa. We have seen politicians, governments, philanthropists, scientists, NGOs, and corporations come together because they believe that not only can they fight malaria but together can eradicate it completely.

So, how do we do this in the Gulf? We need to see cooperation now and holding the right people accountable later. Everyday more and more oil spills, the problem is looming and pointing fingers does nothing to stop it. We, the public, need to see pictures, hear testimonials, we need to hear from scientists and experts in the field -- there needs to be more clarity. We need to focus on prevention -- this isn't the first time a severe spill has hit us, let's make it the last. This is not just about the gulf but our entire nation and ecosystem -- animals are dying, people are losing their livelihoods.

Like that great Greek tale, let's remember the one thing that Pandora did not unleash -- hopelessness and know that as long as there is a tomorrow, we still have a chance to make a difference.