Rama  is facing a dilemma of how to cross the ocean to Lanka, where his abducted wife, Sita, is being held captive by the demon king, Ravana. Praying to Varuna, the Lord of Oceans, does no good. Varuna does not respond. Rama arises so enraged by the God's arrogance that with his bow and arrow he angrily begins attacking the oceans with celestial weapons—burning up the waters and killing its life and creatures. The Vanaras (Monkeys) are dazzled and fearful at witnessing the enraged Rama demolish the oceans. Just as Rama invokes the most powerful weapon capable of destroying all creation, Varuna arises out of the oceans. He bows to Rama explaining that he himself was at a loss to answer Rama's question. As he Begs him not to destroy the oceans with the missile, he suggests that Rama re-direct the weapon at Ravana the demonic race that lives in the heart of the ocean. Rama's arrows destroy the demons. Varuna promises that he would keep the oceans still for all of Rama's army to pass, and Vanaras constructs a bridge (Rama's Bridge) across to Lanka.
As I sit looking out my window at the rains of seemingly biblical proportion and feeling the anger and fear of the current economic environment, this myth from Hindu mythology reminds me that we need not destroy what we have created. Many of us have built wonderful businesses, but now in anger use the powerful weapon of complacency to destroy what they have created. Our employees sit watching in fear as we fail to make decisions that lead forward to the bridge. Even though we love our businesses, we have stopped looking for the bridge to cross the ocean to save it from the abduction of this current economic climate. The Demons that live in the ocean of our businesses are entitlement, overspending, lack of support from the god's of banking and government and looking to others for the answers that lie within. Many sit waiting for a stimulus package to save them, instead of being their own stimulus package. Searching deeply we would know what we need to do, but the question is will we? Will we let die what must in order for new stronger possibilities to emerge. I see so many businesses with clenched fists holding on to weapons that don't serve them, thoughts that do move them and fear that paralyzes them.
We must each choose our moment to take action, to take the next step and make way for the new by allowing the old, which is no longer serving us, to be destroyed. Just as the rose bud is destroyed to allow the flower to bloom, and the bloom is destroyed to allow the seeds to develop and spread. Ravana is destroyed so that an age of freedom and light can follow. May the fireworks of July 4th ignite in us the courage that it has in so many before to see our own light in this new age of freedom that is unfolding. There is enough light for us all and always a bridge to carry it over.
Julie Sue Auslander, M.Ed, WPO, WBE
President / Chief Cultural Officer
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