Responsibility to others and the world


Lately, I am feeling ANGRY and HELPLESS and CONFUSED about the oil spill in the gulf. What can we do? How can we make sense of the senselessness of our ways? How can we go on living our “way of life” when there is such a high price?

In recovery we practice self-focused behavior. We turn inward so as to heal and make ourselves stronger. It’s very egocentric, but it is necessary to rebuild the self so that one day, the self is strong enough to help others. I feel as though I have made it to that point of focusing outside myself, I feel a great need to help others and get involved, and yet, I am OVERWHELMED!

I went to my nephew’s choral concert yesterday at church. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of contradiction in the lyrics of their songs as they sung things like “God will take care of us and watch over us.” I may be misinterpreting the words, but MANY of the problems of the world like the oil spill, are MAN-MADE. We can’t just sit back and think God will take care of us. We need to start taking responsibility for the destruction we are causing. We need to change our way of life, NOT hold on to it. Our way of life is destructive (industrialization, massive amount of excess and waste, destroying the land, over-developing, etc.) We need to stop waiting for God to “fix” things, while we destroy it.

The earth is getting too heavy for God to hold. We need to lighten his load and help him carry this planet. Our responsibility in advanced recovery is to redirect our energy from the Self and begin to focus on helping others and doing good for the world.

But what can we do? As I mentioned, I feel helpless. The destruction seems beyond me. I am not an environmentalist, nor a scientist, nor an activist. But I am a writer. And I can write and inspire others to find what they are good at. I can challenge others to take action. Learn a trade, develop your skills and offer your knowledge to the world. Policy makers make policies. Lawmakers make laws, presidents make speeches and allocate tasks, workers work…find what you’re good at and use it well. This is a final task of recovery.

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