Can we meet our newly recognized responsibilities to the world at large?
It’s been a long time since I recognized my responsibilities to the world, and it’s honestly something I think about daily. I can’t say that my sobriety is new, or the fact that I should be law abiding and productive is new. My thoughts about this now are of a person who has been sober for more than two decades, who is middle-aged and very privileged.
I see that I was a waste of space and a menace to society when I was drinking. I squandered resources galore, mostly in the form of the education I drugged myself through. I see now it was one of the best educations that has ever been experienced by anyone, and it went largely unappreciated by me.
That said, I got sober just two months before I graduated from college, and I got a Master’s degree in sobriety. That’s all well and wonderful.
I see myself mostly as a taker. I had children because I wanted them, not because the world needed more people. I write this on a new MacBook, in a warm house, with a dog by my feet in a cushy dog bed, chewing a marrow bone. On my way home from work this evening I passed a homeless man who makes his bed under an over pass in a maze of highways. Even he has many more resources than most of the people in the world.
On the plus side for me: I drive carefully, I do humble work gratefully, I pay taxes, I raised my children to not cause undue harm, I care for “rescued” critters, I vote and campaign in ways that I hope will help the entire world, I turn off the lights when I leave a room, I advocate at work for email instead of paper mail, I drink tap water, I try to remember the reusable shopping bags, and sometimes I even do.