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Many think that economic indicators are the beginning or source of cultural trends, but, I believe, in fact, they are one of the outermost symptons. Our economic crisis is a system gone way out of balance. Corporate greed and excessive financial decisions are not economic trends, but the results of a culture of self-benefit and self-advancement at any and anyone's expense.

To attribute these qualities to corporate America alone is hugely hypocritical. Our humor, our politics, our entertainment, our marriages, our civil rights, even our educational systems have focused on personal gain and success largely at the expense and defacement of others. This has snowballed in the last two decades, but it is nothing that new.

To blame past administrations is likewise hypocritical. There is always some direction in which to point fingers, but the truth is that throughout all of human history, including American history, those in the position of power have generally taken advantage of the weak. When workers were abused, we united to make unions. When unions became corrupt, an administration moved towards deregulation. When the internet hit and we became a global ecomony, deregulation had a hay day. We so quickly became a culture of excess it is a wonder the economy survived the nineties, which it almost didn't.

We can play the blame game back to Adam and Eve. The fact is, when a society is based on excess and self gain, disaster is ineveitable. No, Mr. President, you did not inherit this mess. We created the mess, and if there are to be solutions, we must all take responsibility.

As Charles Osgood said, it is not the systems that are bad. It is that we are always trying to beat the systems. From human trafficking to national power plays, the world is out of balance. Until we learn to live with a conscious of the whole, as families, as communities, as nations and as a global family, we will continue the process of action and reaction until it snowballs to the next crisis.

On almost every level I can think of, this time is a great opportunity for us to look at things in a new light. But unless those eyes turn out of ourselves, as eyes are made to do, to see others, turning inwardly only to examine the quality of our love, then we are destined to reach this point.