When I wrote in the last post about the tendency of us humans to follow each other like sheep, I didn't know that such a typical, though potentially tragic, example would present itself a few days later.
What has happened is that the BBC, the public broadcasting corporation here in the UK, has refused to broadcast an appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee (the DEC, an association of thirteen British charities) for contributions to humanitarian aid to Gaza. It cites two reasons for this extraordinary decision:
1) Concerns that the aid would be unable to get through to where it is needed, an argument which has already been dismissed as nonsense by the British government.
2) The BBC would apparently run the risk of 'reducing public confidence in its impartiality' if it carried the appeal.
The BBC's decision has already been attacked by senior government politicians, religious leaders, and senior members of its own staff, who have pointed out that this is a humanitarian issue, not a political one. It is not about which side is right or wrong in the conflict. It is about saving lives.
But in spite of all this, at the time of writing, the BBC has refused to change its decision.
Now, you might argue that this is the very opposite of sheep-like behavior. The BBC is resolutely staying in its field, in spite of the fact that everybody else is heading through the fence. But we have to look a little more deeply at what is going on here.
In recent months, the BBC has been subjected to persistent criticism by what might best be described as those of a conservative disposition here in the UK, exemplified most vociferously - and some might say ludicrously - by the Jonathan Ross affair, which I described in an earlier post. In the wake of this incident, in which 35,000 people were persuaded by the conservative newspaper the Daily Mail to complain about a radio program which most of them hadn't heard, the BBC has become extremely wary and sensitive to criticism. Staff report that a 'risk averse' culture has developed in the organization. You can imagine senior managers studying the latest edition of the Daily Mail before making programming decisions.
Add to this the fact that a particular area in which complaints have been made in recent weeks is the BBC's supposedly pro-Palestinian bias in its Gaza coverage (a so-called 'bias' which has somehow passed me by) and you can start to see why the decision to say 'no' to the DEC appeal might have been made. Further add in that the decision to reject the appeal was made on the same day that Jonathan Ross returned from his three month ban in the wake of October's scandal - to the accompaniment of howls of protest from the Daily Mail - and the whole thing starts to have a kind of surreal logic to it. The BBC is so busy watching its back - 'coming from fear' as we put it - that it is starting to make bizarre, sheep-like decisions. This would be almost funny if it wasn't so potentially tragic. The BBC's decision is likely to lead to a shortfall of millions of pounds worth of aid in Gaza. People are going to suffer because of it.
The Gaza-Ross connection may seem a ludicrous one, but I am not the only one to make it. Marina Hyde at the Guardian expands on the theory in this excellent article. She even brings in Chaos Theory, the butterfly wings behind this particular phenomenon being those lewd phone calls which were made by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand all those months ago. She writes: 'what seemed like good sport in a slow news week in October may compound the most unimaginable suffering in January'. Grotesquely, people in Gaza may die because of a message left on an answerphone in England.
Anyway, why am I telling you all this? Am I getting into conspiracy theories instead of spirituality? Or am I going to combine the two and start writing about seven foot lizards like David Icke? Well, no please, that is not my intention. I'm not trying to get you hooked into this drama I'm describing. I'm not trying to get your blood pressure up. It's just that, well, there are waves of energy around at the moment. We see one in America, the wonderful tide which has swept Obama into power - and I suppose I feel a bit bad that a wave which seems to me to be a lot less wholesome, which is rooted in fear and anger rather than love, seems to be holding sway in my own country. Perhaps I am exaggerating the situation, but I have always seen the BBC as a benevolent force, a force for truth, and if this great tide of so-called 'opinion', with the Daily Mail as Chief Sheep, has led it to make such a ludicrous, foolhardy, and potentially tragic decision as this, then what's going to happen next?
Recently, on this blog, my favorite spiritual Rottweiler, Sue Ann Edwards has been taking me to task for encouraging people to use intention to influence world events. To be honest, this sort of thing isn't the principal focus of The Secret Of Life, my primary interest being our own personal development, but Lynne McTaggart's Intention Experiment and Marianne Williamson's recent blog post both appealed to me as being worthy of your attention. Sue Ann, however, believes that this sort of thing is all attempted mind control and is counter-productive. If you have a bit of time to spare, you can read our discussion here. I'm partially persuaded by Sue Ann's arguments but I personally feel that it's not about whether we should do intention experiments and the like but exactly how we do them that's important. I hope to discuss this in more detail in a future post - when I've recovered from Sue Ann's recent mauling! - but as another favorite blogger of mine, Grace from The Wild Pomegranate puts it: 'love is never the wrong answer'. And perhaps that is what we should focus on whatever we do: whether we're looking at world events or going within ourselves to confront our deepest fears, if we're coming from love, we are on the right track.
Like I say, there are waves around at the moment. It's not up to me to start another one, but if we all feel free to be ourselves, to follow our wisdom, follow our hearts, then perhaps some of the madness will fall away.
So with this in mind, I ask you to consider complaining to the BBC about their refusal to carry the DEC broadcast (even if you don't live in the UK, you may still be one of their 'customers', using the BBC's broadcasts or their web site), donating to the DEC's Gaza appeal (or to your own local charities who are working in that area) or using the Ho'opnopono techniques I've described here to 'clean' the issues I've been writing about in this post. I've mentioned Ho'oponopono in particular here because it's not about trying to control anyone else - it's all about healing the parts of ourselves which have contributed to the events we see in the world.
But of course, you won't do any of these things just because I say so. You will only do what your own inner wisdom, your heart, tells you to do. I didn't have to tell you that, did I? You knew it already.