“I’ve heard over and over again, we’re told that they had to let their kids, you know, their husbands, their wives, whoever it was, they had to stand back, not to intervene, let them hit bottom so they would crawl into a treatment and say, ‘Please help me.’ That idea, it is so dangerous. It has killed so many people. The other problem with it is that this is a progressive disease, which means that as long as it’s not being treated, it gets worse. So the longer we stand back and allow this to happen and allow the drug use to continue and allow the behavior that is caused by the drug use to worsen so that someone is going to use more drugs and it’s just a cycle, the harder it is to treat them. So addiction is a disease like anything else. It’s like cancer, like heart disease, like diabetes. And we know that at the first signs of serious illness, we want to seek treatment. If someone in our families had early warning signs of any of those diseases, we would bring them to a doctor to figure out what is going on. We would not wait until the disease progressed.”
Photo credit: istockphoto.com
Agreed. The problem is, you can’t own what doesn’t belong to you. Nobody “lets” anyone hit rock bottom. They try and try and try to solve a problem that is not within their power to solve. Sometimes, they make it worse.
We are all in this together. But some things just are not within our power.
This is fascinating. Attention is likely your most valuable asset. Think about how you choose to spend it (“Pay attention!”), and all the entities that are competing for it.
This guy rocks. He’s also right.
In taekwondo, this is called “black belt attitude.”
Love is faith in action. Courage is love in action. It all begins with faith.
Faith in yourself, and in a universe that would have you a part of it. There are all kinds of prayer, don’t get hung up on that.
Stay in the fight.
Joseph Campbell (via wordslessspoken)
The course you set in life should come from the heart.
This is a very fine examination of our culture or work and consumerism. As with all great work, it will make you very uncomfortable. At least it should.
And this is perhaps the pivotal consideration in my forthcoming course correction. The most valuable thing we have is time. How do you wish to “spend” it?
The conservative complaint against the “nanny-state” doesn’t originate in some abiding faith in individual liberty. It originates from resentment. They resent legislative interference in the opportunity to exploit human ignorance and weakness.
Their complaint resonates because it appeals to our ego, a human weakness and perhaps the greatest source of ignorance of the self. Those who profit from ignorance and weakness rely on ignorance and weakness to preserve and perpetuate it.
We can’t all be physicians, engineers, accountants and scientists, so we rely on people with expertise in important matters. But if we rely on them to help establish a a legal and economic framework that reduces our vulnerability to exploitation, those who profit from weakness and vulnerability cry foul.
We’re not opposed to laws against fraud, where people deliberately deceive and misrepresent and profit from it. Yet much of our commerce is based upon fraud. It’s just better packaged, more sophisticated.
We know many food products are harmful to us. We know our consumer lifestyle is destroying the natural environment and compromising the ability of the planet to sustain our lives. Yet we’re “sold” on the value and utility of harmful and unsustainable goods and practices. Efforts by government to reduce the vulnerability, alter the practices, are treated as acts of oppression.
Most of us are victims, and since none of us wishes to see ourselves as victims, we turn a blind eye to it and call it “business as usual.” If we see others who are victims, the obese, the unhealthy, the poor, we blame them. They “chose” their lot, despite an entire industry devoted to relentlessly promoting ignorance and impairing the faculty of rational choice in order to profit from it.
Such is the world of commerce and marketing and our consumerist lifestyle.
The meaning of life is not found in aisle 10.
There is a saying: The masters live in the world of transformation. The masses live in the illusions of gain and loss.
This is, to my mind, the essence of Taoism. It is also much on my mind of late, as I straddle two ways of life and struggle with each.
It’s time for a change.
David Foster Wallace’s iconic 2005 Kenyon College graduation address. Context and transcript here: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/09/12/this-is-water-david-foster-wallace/
I don’t know, but I worry that this recording may be ordered to be taken down. The Wallace estate ordered a copy of the transcript removed from the web. The text has since been offered as a book.
I’ve had a copy of the transcript for some time, and I re-read it a couple of times a year. I know that’s not enough.
What was interesting to me was the interaction between Foster and the audience, and the audience’s reaction to his comments. As the address goes on, especially toward the end, you can hear, it seems to me, Foster become more insistent, more urgent. The laughter and giggles die away. It seems the message may have finally been getting through.
We are all victims of our “default settings.” And Foster’s comments on worship are spot on.
He was a brilliant man, and we lost him far too soon. But this address is a gift, and one that I appreciate very much. If you’ve never read it, this is definitely worth listening to. If you have read it, this is still worth listening too.
“This is water.”