I feel so strongly that we, as human beings, should always strive to help one another. It saddens me when I am faced with a person who is devoid of empathy or compassion, for what do we amount to as a species if we cannot say that we love and care for humanity? Thinking about other people also helps us, in that we can grow as individuals when we take the time to think of others. We become less wrapped up in our own issues, more concerned with what is happening in other people’s lives.
The Dalai Lama said that ‘Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.’
I don’t consider that people who are morbidly obese or who drink too much or who compulsively gamble or who sleep around, are happy and in control of their lives. When any addiction rules your life it is because of entrenched insecurities or an emotional need which has been left unmet. It is not because the gambler or heavy drinker wishes to ruin their life and the lives of those around them. It is not as a result of choice – rather, it is down to powerful urges and the desire to feel complete, emotionally full and ‘normal’ in a world which judges too frequently.
After indulging in whatever one’s addiction may be, the need returns sooner or later and it does so with increasing force. Over time it grows ever-more difficult to ignore. As the years pass, that compulsion strengthens until it defines an addict and they are perceived as nothing more than ‘a gambler’ or ‘a drinker’ or ‘an over-eater.’
We humans are not without our flaws; emotions and hormones and our genetic make-up combine to establish certain weaknesses that we must, if we are to be happy, learn to conquer. There is no-one on the planet who is not beset by a fault, an issue that impacts negatively to some degree on the rest of their life.
And so, when a person feels compelled to judge those who are outwardly suffering from an addiction, assuming that they are in full control of their actions and should simply ‘pull themselves together’, I would say this;
Nobody is perfect. Life makes us what we are, but if we’re afforded the benefit of compassion, kindness and love from the world around us, we have a fighting chance of becoming the person we should be, the one who is hiding beneath the layers of negativity, the one that people have never seen. What is wrong with accepting that human beings are susceptible to weakness and inner struggles? Why can’t we all show tenderness to people who are not yet in the emotional place we feel they should be?
With love and understanding we can help each other find a happy place where the need to seek contentment from without can be eradicated by the shared knowledge that true joy only ever stems from within.