Part of the Problem

Staying at a hotel for MSD district annual assembly, I was awoken at 2:45 AM to loud screaming at the pool. There was a group of people in the pool area and they were having quite the discussion. In my half stupor, I opened the door and began yelling for them to quiet down. They did not hear me. I yelled again… they still did not hear me… it slowly dawned on me as I was waking up that I was now part of the problem rather than the solution. I shut the door and called the front desk who had just received several calls regarding the situation and no doubt my cacophony was included in the complaint.

I have been reflecting on whether there were other times in my life when my actions were part of the problem?   Were there times that I with the sleepiness of unawareness acted in ways that contributed to racism through white privilege; or global warming  through abandoned consumerism; or injustice through self-centered attitudes. 

Being part of the problem is never the role a person wants to be in when trying to solve a dilemma. We want to make things better, we want to create justice, we want to heal the wounds that have been inflicted; not make things worse by increasing injustice with layers of bureaucracy, or re-wound the inflicted. Yet, sometimes we have approached problems the same way for so long we think that must be the right way to solve this new problem or old problem that has once again surfaced to our awareness.  

The bumper sticker that reads “if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem” never seemed very helpful to me.  I wanted a bit more awareness about this problem. What was the problem, how was I contributing to it, how could I stop contributing it? 

Somewhere in my sleepy stupor of wanting to return to sleep and no longer hear the yelling and screaming, I realized that I had become part of the problem and not the solution.  I owned my participation in exacerbating the problem and saw a means to stop contributing to the problem and perhaps found another way to solve the problem. It was a matter of becoming fully alert and present to what was happening. 

This seems key to me… to be fully alert and present to what is happening. It may be painful to be fully alert and present and so I understand the desire to keep responding from the sleepy numbing stupor but that will not create the solution desired and may actually increase the problem.  yet, it is only when we are fully awake can we respond with our full authentic selves and bring healing and transformation to this world. 

May we all seek to realize the role we play in the problems we face and become awake and alert in order to see our ways to the solutions we seek.  Blessings, Rev. Fred L Hammond


Published in: on May 4, 2008 at 2:10 pm  Comments Off on Part of the Problem  
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