Daniel Goleman, in his TED Talk titled “Why Aren’t We More Compassionate” asks a simple question: Why don’t humans help other humans more often? Volumes of scientific research has been dedicated to the search for meaning in human connection. Philosophy, psychology, religion, spirituality, economics, and neuroscience have all tried to figure the same thing out. Why don’t we act with more compassion and empathy when we see someone in need? More importantly, why are so easily ignorant to people who are in need? Millions of people suffer from disease, starvation, war, lack of medical resources, lack of clean drinking water, and other life threatening circumstances every day. We come across the hungry and struggling frequently in our own lives? What prevents us from taking more of our time and energy to help others? Though this may seem like a broad contemplation, it is of critical importance to recovery. We often say about sobriety: in order to keep it, you have to give it away. There is an unspoken rule about getting sober which requires that you help others who are in need of finding their way to recovery. As many reached out their hands to you and lit the path, you must to be a guiding light.
Goleman states it simply: “If we are focused on ourselves, if we’re preoccupied, as we so often are throughout the day, we don’t really fully notice the other.” The other, is usually other people. “Othering” is a term theorists and critical writers use to describe the way we separate ourselves from other people. It isn’t just a matter of difference but creating a less-than view of how we relate to others. By making other human beings seem different or less than ourselves, it is easier to ignore them. Adhering to stereotype and stigma is an easy way to do this. Also relying on distance and difference can help us as well. We see this often in recovery. Someone who is in denial might separate themselves from others in treatment because they have a heroin addiction or they have a worse “bottom”. Looking for the similarities rather than the differences is commonly the prescription for treating such a mental malady. Humans are quick to forget that everyone is human. In recovery, everyone is struggling with the same mental illness of addiction. The details are insignificant.
Aurora Recovery Centre encourages spiritual and personal development in members by utilizing the twelve step system in addition to spiritual treatment modalities and mentorship. We encourage members to grow and connect with one another throughout their course of treatment. For more information, call us today at 844-515-STOP.