Well – here I am at 35,000 feet, flying home from my conference in San Diego. (Don’t worry – I have the wireless on my laptop turned off!)

My conference opened last Sunday. After the meetings were finished for the day and Ordinary Spouse and I had found something to eat, we decided to explore the area around the convention center. There was a (long) flight of steps that would take you right up to the top of the convention center and allow you to look out over the bay from an outside deck. Nice views, huh?

(That was our hotel.)

(That’s looking across the bay to Coronado.)

Then, we walked down on the other side of the convention center. The back side. The loading docks, the trash pick up, the storage cages. The part that gets hidden from the convention goers because it doesn’t look so nice.

Ordinary Spouse and I discussed the back side. It’s not really that uncommon. Restaurants have them. Grocery stores, too. And it’s metaphorical, as well. Consumption has a back side. It might be destroyed rain forest. It might be a mineral mine. It might be the Gulf of Mexico with oil spewing everywhere.

Too often, those of us who “have” – have the money, have the benefits, have the ability to go to conventions – don’t acknowledge the mess on the back side. Perhaps it’s time that we did.

Do you have a mess on your back side? Is it time to wipe it off?