Lately, I have felt strong and passionate. I feel like I’m at a crossroads again – but this time, it’s not a choice between life and death – no, it’s a choice between conformity and freedom.
What do I mean?
Well, my mind has been opened – I absolutely feel that once my brain healed from alcohol abuse – certain areas of said brain began to operate. Areas that were drowned out by cheap wine and Coors Light, left for dead, have awoke and are ready to make up for lost time.
- More confident
- More able to speak my mind, in a productive way
- More capable of achieving any goal/objective I set
- More willing to remove negative elements from my life
- More equipped to identify negative elements, and prevent them from entering my life
- More productive on all fronts
- Less sad
- Less likely to settle
- Less likely to give up
- Less likely to be sick
- Less likely to focus on the negative
I promise to:
- Never let my loved ones’ down
- Always try my best
- Never take an ounce of bullshit from anyone
- Protect my family
- Love my family
Why does all of this matter? First and foremost, this blog is about giving up alcohol to become a better human being – and I think the aforementioned list displays progress. It is evidence that alcohol can destroy your mind and body – but, it most importantly proves that you can change and heal. You can rectify your history of bad decision making and absolutely become the best YOU possible.
It also tells you that if you put down the bottle, you may start to feel this way too. When I was at my worst, the way I felt would’ve been dark and hopeless and the promises I made would go un-kept (follow-through is so important to me now). It’s amazing what good choices can produce – and if you stick with those good choices, life continues to get better.
Besides feelings of greatness – my general thoughts have been provoked immensely. I think about a better, more productive and kind world – where people don’t just think of their own space/time, but think of the community at large when making decisions. If we all thought about our actions, and how those actions impact others – moving forward with the “treat others as you’d like to be treated” format – the world would absolutely be a better place.
However, I keep my expectations realistic. People, it’s important to be optimistic – but it’s more important to inject common sense into your optimism.
Often times, the idealists think of lofty objectives like “everyone should be housed, and have food.” Or, “no racism or hate should exist.” While I agree with these thoughts 100 percent – I also have to inject a realistic thought process into the mix. Yes, I believe everyone should have housing and nourishment – but starting with such a daunting goal is always fruitless. It’s not productive or realistic.
SO, what approach do I take? The local approach.
I can’t feed all of the people across the globe or banish hate – but if I glance into my own community, I will see hunger, homelessness and despair. I can make a change right now, for those people in my community. I am a believer that if we start small, build systems that work, then expand – we will create sustainable processes to address critical needs.
It’s not about feeding everyone in the world – it’s about starting in your community, modeling how to make a positive change – then show other communities how to do the same. It all starts at home. I appreciate the optimism, but I’ve seen young idealists with lofty objectives never get their projects off of the ground, as their starting point wasn’t correct.
Today, you can stop walking over the homeless person in the street and ask if they’re hungry – or help an elderly community member get through the crosswalk when the impatient drivers blow their horns. Donate your clothes to a homeless shelter – or donate your child’s older clothes to a family who needs it, and will appreciate the cost savings. Volunteer at a food bank, senior living center, tutoring center, under-served school, etc., as there is SO much opportunity to fill service-gaps, and system failures. So much needs to be done — and I can’t ignore the child who won’t have, but deserves the same opportunities I received.
I taught the kids in Lila’s class this year to be “BIG” in their community — which means give back to a cause that is greater than you — and always be a good person.
A bucket filler.
You can show up to local council meetings — reach out to your elected officials — don’t just complain, but to propose solutions — and go a step further, and ask: “how can I assist directly?”
Lazy people expect government to solve all community issues — but in actuality, that is a false expectations…solving issues takes the entire community.
Moving forward, I ask you, just as I started:
Smile at your neighbors and say hello – build a community, and view all community members as equal, even if you have more resources.
I simply don’t need so much, when I have brothers and sisters in the community who have so little.
Humans are selfish. Yes, we are advanced, but we advanced as a species who has forgotten that the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
I’m not communist – I just passionately believe that all people are created equally, and I cannot get fat or be completely happy while others are suffering. Lets’ do our part!
And please don’t forget to register to vote as a non-partisan voter – lets’ disrupt this unproductive two party political system that has forgotten its people.
Be blessed. Be happy. Be you.