Seldom did we look at character-building as something desirable in itself, something we would like to strive for whether our instinctual needs were met or not. We never thought of making honesty, tolerance, and true love of man and God the daily basis of living.
I’m reading Not-God, a history of AA, and I just read how before the Big Book was written and published, Bill W and Dr. Bob were both devoting more than full time to beginning AA, and how they were both financially desperate. I’d like to think they put their money where their mouths were as far as serving others, even when they had personal needs.
My instinctual needs have been met every day of my life so far. I can’t imagine that character building would take place, except for that gained by adversity, if this was not the case. Reading about this and writing about it has brought it to my attention that securing my daily bread does not need to be the focus of very much of my attention. I’m not terribly into acquiring more.
My daughter graduated from college in May, and she’s looking for a job. That is unsettling and frightening for many reasons, not the least of which is the huge cost of COBRA, extending her medical insurance since she’s graduated. When I’m anxious about it, my mind sort of automatically and quickly goes to count the resources that are available to her, should something bad happen. Her grandparents all have money and I think all would support her, if she needed support. I have money saved. There may be programs and charities and grants that would help.
Along with my fear of (economic insecurity) Erika not having what she needs, or spending lots of what’s been saved to do it, I’m aware that my character grows and I get bigger and stronger. But again, that’s through the fear of adversity. How poorly I would do in real adversity is questionable.
I remember hearing about “cemetery therapy” as a way to reduce stress. The idea is to look at a bunch of headstones and contemplate that every person represented was just as anxious and worried, at one time, as I am now. It was a waste of time for them, and it’s a waste of time for me.