Is the World Broken? Perhaps. But You and I Possess the Power to Change It

Stigma. Hate. Prejudice. Abuse. Violence. Savagery.

Is the world broken? Perhaps. But you and I possess the power to change it.

Recovery can take a great deal of time, energy and intention. You will have to face emotions, experiences that you may wish you could forget. Or numb. Or just avoid. I know, because part of my own addictive process involves avoidance of painful emotions: when I feel rejected, not cared for, hopeless, ignored.

For me, just like anyone in recovery, these are “old” emotions that I dealt with by not dealing with them. I learned to stuff and numb. I did not express my needs in healthy, self-caring ways. Part of my ongoing recovery involves learning and re-learning healthier ways of setting boundaries, communicating and coping with my own ‘stuff.’

I recently read this quote about helping a family member who lives with addiction:

“Everything we know about motivation and change suggests that power and powerlessness come with the territory of caring about someone with a substance problem. You have the power to help someone change, and the power to make changes yourself that will improve your situation, yet you are powerless to make another person change or do the changing for him.”

J. Foote, C. Wilkens, N. Kosanke and S. Higgs. “Beyond Addiction.” Scribner, NY. Page 97.

When we act with compassion for ourselves and other people, treat them and ourselves with respect, offer help without judging, listen, and see beyond the surface behaviors – we are taking the very actions that empower ourselves and other people to make their situation better in  whatever ways that they can.

I don’t know John Moore, but I like what he says in this piece below that he posted on Linkedin. He talks about decency, humanity, helping other people out even without having to be asked. Instead of this post being about helping someone to find a job, imagine if this post and it’s recommendations were about helping a person living with or in recovery from an addiction or a mental illness?

Where we reject those who suffer, we also reject a part of ourselves and our humanity recedes one more step. Where we honor those in need, we use the power that we have to help ourselves and humanity to move towards a better way. 

• • •

About 6 weeks ago, I noticed that one of my LI connections was looking for a job. He had been unemployed for over 6 months. He was losing his house/car, and his family was suffering. He listed the top 3 companies that he wanted to work for. As I was reading his post, I looked thru my connections and noticed that I had several high level connections in each of those companies. They frequently liked my articles here on LI. I sent each of them a message on LI without him asking me. I also sent a screenshot of his post. I asked them to reach out to him and they did. My connection reached back out to me yesterday and said they had made him an offer. Here is the lesson:

1. People should not have to ask you for help if you can help them.

2. Life is about HOPE: Helping One Person Everyday!

3. Don’t let other people drown when you can throw them a lifejacket.

4. You don’t have to know people individually to help them.

5. As an influencer/leader, who was the last person that you helped when they were down?

6. It takes just a few minutes to change a person life; therefore, use your time wisely!  He will never know who I was, but I will never forget him!

To see the original post by John Moore, PhD, click on the Linkedin picture.

Keep it Real

Photo by Jason Devaun

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