There was a time when there would be no question. I would have always pushed the cream down into the bottle and mixed it up with the milk. I would have sacrificed mySelf for the whole and thought nothing of it. I would have thought it my ‘duty’ or my ‘responsibility’ to share and to make things as even as possible and in doing that with the cream and the milk it would have made such a little difference that no-one would even have noticed and I would have felt both righteous and unacknowledged. Other options would have been to not open the bottle and save the cream cap as a gift for someone, maybe even ‘sharing’ it with them. With this strategy I could both be righteous and acknowledged. In those old days the way I was ‘selfish’ was to sacrifice myself to the greater good, in this way my ego could say I was good and my judge could judge everyone else as bad for not seeing how good I was. Man it was a twisted world. A lot of the non-profit world operates on these principals.
Another way I could have handled the cream was the way of ‘capitalism’, I could have either ‘snuck’ the cream for myself and either consumed it or scooped it up and saved it for later. I could have also traded it, or part of it, for something from someone else. I could also have traded the future cream that I would sneak off of the next bottle for the promise of something else. The key to this way of operation is that I wouldn’t give a damn about other people I would only be looking out for what was in it for me. How would I make out better in the end? How could I be the first to get to the cream and then use it or turn it into something even more valuable for me. The only way that I could see mixing the cream in the milk is that if in some way it would allow me to get more for the milk for me. Would folks give me more of something if I did that? Nah probably not anything tangible anyway, and ultimately tangible is what is important. Intangibles like love and appreciation can’t replace hard currency. As you might be able to tell from the writing of the above I was raised more of a non-profit guy then a capitalist. I am not particularly happy or blessed to have been raised that way, I just was. I think that both paths are distorted though and that there is another path that holds that cream in an entirely different light.
I think that sometimes when I am conscious and I approach that new bottle of milk and pop off the cap I have a different kind of choice. I have a choice that is set up in concentric circles of desire. What do I want? What do the people near me want? What does humanity want? What does life want? Even a decision about what to do with the cream can be looked at from these circles of desire and responsibly acted on from that place.
This morning I opened that bottle of milk and saw that what I wanted was to have a delicious bowl of cereal with a dollop of cream on top of my berries. I saw that Karen actually would probably prefer it if I took the cream out of the milk and didn’t even tempt her with it and she would like the milk better with out the cream mixed in, no matter what my ego thought might be fair or not. I saw that humanity needed to learn more about savoring and that if I could take that dollop of cream from a local dairy and berries from the farmers market that were fresh and delicious and consciously savor every bite, then humanity would be served and would be one step closer to the consciousness needed to take that next evolutionary step. I also saw that with that dollop of cream I had the opening of my blog entry for this morning which serves both me and humanity. I saw that life is served by the choices I am making and the wheel goes round and round.
From this place of consciousness there are many options and desires to pay attention to and there are many ways I could have chosen that would have served those circles of desire in their own ways. I guess it all comes down to consciousness and choice, and finally staying aware of the impact of those choices on the circles as they ripple out from you and your choices.