Standing Rock, Some Words
We take what we want from situations or environments because we have free will and we strive to carry out self determination. We are self made. We can analyze the moment and the setting and then the self in it. What am I doing here? What is my purpose here? Am I a part of this? Am I apart from this?
And then there is the march of time. Perhaps we find a moment when it is to end. Am I a tourist? a passenger? I took a stand, shall I go now? Is it more harmful if I stay or go? Which is more useful? What is my metric from which to measure?
They might call it the march of progress, or paint it as such anyway. They’re drilling for oil on this North American continent but perhaps I should say “we”. We are drilling for oil on the North American continent, but the question remains, what damage is being inflicted? If this is progress and there is value in it who reaps the rewards? Who gets paid? Why am I being complicit? What’s the price of gas today at the station? Maybe I can get one of those foamy cappuccinos while I’m there.
We question socially and environmentally–the two words divide for clarity–what Standing Rock and the water protectors are all about. Capitalism is the hot potato right in the middle. Capitalism for some spells freedom and for others: oppression. But we might all be asking: Am I walking the talk? If I’m free is it at the expense of someone else? Is mine a system of freedom if someone else is not free? And conversely, if I’m oppressed is it at the hands of someone else or am I oppressing myself? How am I being oppressed?And in all this, who is degrading the environment?
Hypocrisy is the word. If I’m biting the hand that feeds me I must own up. If I call myself a water protector isn’t my use of oil a potentially important point of hypocrisy? Or maybe at least it’s a point where I should begin to look at myself discriminatingly. According to Hegel there is always the Self and the Other to concern ourselves with at every point of the decision making process. And this meeting point may be the core of every spiritual tradition there is. There is always forgiveness to bring to the fold. That’s with self and with the other. Forgiveness is coupled with grace. We can bring grace to every situation but the price is discipline. We pay for grace by way of discipline. Grace is when something works unhindered by the problems and imperfections.
I can fight a battle and who has the right to call it wrong? I can fight a losing battle. I could take the side of those with the upper hand or with the high ground or I might side with the underdog and they will judge me either way but their judgement is not about me is it. People judge to define themselves and my judgement of self is all that matters. My relation to sacrifice matters much for me. For better or for worse I judge myself against sacrifice. No one gets a free ride–especially me. When others come in to judge it’s based on their blindness, their ignorance to ‘my’ truth. And so it goes for all of us: I can only speak my truth. Allow me to speak my truth.