Mini-inquiry: Maverick

Three people died in a recent Norwegian antarctic expedition, and I had a reaction to the guy heading the expedition. I saw him as irresponsible, a maverick, not listening to those more experienced.

Can I find that in myself?

Yes. I see I have a familiar/unquestioned identity as responsible, which makes it difficult for me to find it in myself right away. It’s somewhat hidden by that identity, at least until I look more intentionally.

When I hold onto that identity, I get stressed whenever something surfaces that doesn’t fit. I try to defend the identity, prop it up, make it seem true for myself and others. It’s stressful. What I seek from it is acceptance and love, which is not what I get since I and others know it’s a false – or at least onesided – identity. I and others know I am pretending.

Without holding onto that identity, I am more free to find where I am responsible and irresponsible. I am free to confess to both – to myself and others. It feels good. It’s a relief. I am more human, more like anyone else. I don’t have to try to live up to an impossible standard. I can be myself without hiding.

– o –

Can I find where I am irresponsible? A maverick? Not listening to those more experienced?

Yes. I have done that several times, and often regretted it afterwards.

I’ll make a list on my own.

Is it true that he is irresponsible, a maverick, not listening to those more experienced?

I don’t know.

I don’t know the circumstances well enough to say. The media may well misrepresent the situation.

Also, it’s just an interpretation. A thought.

Is it true he shouldn’t be irresponsible, a maverick, not listening to those more experienced?

No, it’s just an opinion. A thought.

Can I find where it is OK that he is irresponsible, a maverick, not listening to those more experienced?

Hm. Well, everyone on the expedition knew the risks. They went willingly.

Actually, two dropped out of the expedition because they thought it was too risky. The rest knew and were willing to take those risks.

We are all responsible for our own choices.

Whether we have a “leader” or not, we are all responsible for our own choices. We chose to act a certain way or not.

Can I find why he should be irresponsible, a maverick, not listening to those more experienced?

(a) It may be his makeup right now.

It has infinite causes, stretching back to the beginning of time and out to the widest reaches of the universe.

(b) It reminds me that I am responsible for my own choices, independent of circumstances.

I cannot blame a leader, the situation or anything else.

(c) It helps me find in myself what I see in him. He is a mirror for me.

When I recognize that, it’s easy to find love for myself and him. There is a softening. We are on the same side.

Can I find where I didn’t take responsibility for my own choices?

Yes. Whenever I complain – mentally or in words – it’s a good pointer to where I am not confessing to my responsibility for my own choices.

One example:

When I moved to Wisconsin because I felt I “should” even if it went against what everything in me told me was right for me.

When I don’t take responsibility for this choice, I tell myself I did it because of circumstances, I was caught up in fear and a belief etc. It feels uncomfortable.

When I take responsibility for that choice, there is relief. Something falls into place. There is more peace around it.

I am making a more thorough list on my own.

– o –


  • maverick
    • had a reaction, norwegian antarctic expedition, saw the leader as irresponsible, maverick, not listening to those more experienced
    • find it in myself, i sometimes find myself in a maverick role, especially in “spiritual” contexts
    • i have tried to push it away, not acknowledge it, have been uncomfortable about it
    • so only natural that i react when i see the same in others
    • when embrace it, feels good, falls into place
    • befriend it, see when it may be helpful etc.

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