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One of the causes we’ve all been caught up in for longer than we may care to remember is the BEcause. This is not a good idea BEcause. That won’t work BEcause. Something didn’t happen BEcause. Let’s face it, as we find ourselves "overcoming middle-age" we realize that too much time has been wasted on thoughts about, "shoulda, coulda, woulda."

We probably shoulda done everything differently. We coulda accomplished so much more. We woulda been better off IF----- fill in the blank.

Remember Mary Martin singing, "I’m gonna wash that.....right outa my hair?" Let’s do it. (Never mind the man). Turn the water on our heads full force, lather up, and use insight shampoo instead of hindsight soap (we know now that leaves an unpleasant residue). Wherever we may be in the process of moving forward in life, we know a great deal more than when we started. We’ve earned the right to be perspicacious--Webster defines that as "of acute mental vision or discernment." We’ve worried a lot about "cause and effect." Now we can concentrate on "taking up the cause." We are no longer required to view cause as a verb. It can become a noun in our lives. Many of us were always willing and even anxious to accept blame and/or guilt for causing all the problems we encountered. O.K., some do bear our signature but let’s cut them loose when we’re beyond doing anything further to remedy the situation. Once we’ve rid ourselves of the BEcauses, we can look forward to "upholding the cause of" anything we believe deserves such a commitment.

Many mighty strong women have gone before with a passion to carry out the goals that give us so much today. Where would we be without the suffragettes? Regardless of our color, we would all be poorer had it not been for the courage of Rosa Parks. Mother Teresa taught the world about genuinely caring for people trapped in poverty and misery.

There are causes that may seem far less noble but still carry a value. When President Carter’s mother, Miss Lillian, joined the Peace Corps, some scoffed. Those are the same folks who probably think Canada is a third world country and wouldn’t dream of getting their hands or Gucci shoes dirty.

Many of us grew up with the notion that we were expected to "save the world," and viewed that as a cause to which we had been called. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that the world might only need to be spared our follies. We could barely find our own life jackets, never mind helping someone else into a raft. Lots of us became teachers, nurses or social workers because those were considered the most worthy professions. We wound up trying to teach ourselves some sense, hoping to minister to our own miseries and organizing therapy groups masquerading as Tupper Ware parties or consciousness raising gatherings.

Now we’re finally armed with the wisdom born of age and we can truly look back and smile. We’ve stared down perfectionism and knocked it on its’ backside. We’ve looked at the control issue and blown blue smoke in its’ face. And we have even gained a new vision about the "vision thing."

We can still choose to save the whales, the spotted owls, the rain forests, the redwoods, or anything else which stirs our passion. You know the flight attendant instructions when flying about, when the oxygen mask drops down, place it on your face first before trying to help a small child or anyone else? Well, let’s take a deep breath and jettison the BEcauses so we have the fortitude for whatever other causes we may deem worthy.