Societal ills

 “No persons do anything inappropriate, given their model of the world.”

It is not difficult for any of us to look around and find something we deem wrong with our fellow travelers’ behaviors and beliefs.  Our mind many times cannot wrap itself around the inhumane things people say and do.  Thankfully, this says a whole lot about us — we are getting there.

Where is it we getting to?  I would like to think that at some point each of us will be more concerned with how the Whole was doing rather than how the Self was doing.  I do think that with each visible transgression we humans perpetrate on each other, more and more people decide to become willing to choose compassion over aggression.

With the social media era in full swing, we now are exposed to worldly events the instant they happen.  We have multiple sources covering every angle of every story, and the funny thing is, we all interpret these events differently.  This should clearly show us that there is no such thing as Ultimate Reality here in the physical world.  Understanding this great truth should free us to more easily accept those who do not agree with our point of view.

“Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way.”

On September 11th, 2001, many of us here in the U.S. were faced with an extreme contrast to our way of life.  We witnessed the inhumanity of man on our own soil.  Fear, sorrow, anguish, and suffering were felt across this land as well as abroad.  But at the same time, empathy and compassion were expressed as never before.  Many people were shocked out of complacency and stepped right into a state of being most of us do not experience in life: unselfish, unconditional love.

With the yearly anniversary remembrance behind us, my thoughts have moved to some of the other societal ills that plague man.  These are, of course, my opinion of what “ills” are.

In the light of recent events in Syria, I have determined that as a collective majority we are fairly comfortable with letting people kill each other in the name of war; we just have certain guidelines as to how it should be done.  I am, however, proud that we were able to, at the very least, postpone correcting unacceptable behavior (the use of chemical weapons) with the use of unacceptable behavior (launching missiles). This tells me that we may be seeing a little more of the light of compassion than we have in previous years.

Moving to something a little less dramatic, yet nonetheless what I would call a societal shortcoming, we have designer Brian Lichtenberg.  Brian is the man behind the controversial “prescription” t-shirts.  Brian is trying to capitalize on society’s obsession with, and in a lot of cases addiction to, prescription pain medication.  His money-making idea was to create t-shirts like sports jersey’s with the name of a drug such as Adderall, Vicodin, Xanax, to name a few, on the back, with a number below, emulating sports apparel.

Brian, like many people, is a business man. He is trying to do what we are taught from a very early age is the ultimate goal for a human – make a lot of money.  One of the things we don’t teach is to do so without causing harm wherever possible.  Brian’s creation, although creative, is turning out to be offensive to many and he is now feeling the crunch.  Many have spoken out against him and now the drug-makers themselves are considering suing him to cease and desist.

While drug use did not go up or down in relation to this event, our collective conscience did experience a shift. Many spoke their minds and found themselves supported by their communities.  Each experience we have of standing in our authentic truth and being supported encourages people to become willing to do so.

Much like the events in Syria that brought us to the brink of yet another war, Brian Lichtenberg has ushered in a new era of people rising up against what they believe is behavior not becoming of 21st Century humans. His view of the world was narrow, and the masses have stepped into authenticity and said we will not stand by quietly and let you do this.

The point of this article is to show that we, as individuals, have more power over worldly events than we believe, as well as making the compassionate comparison to how we go about expressing our power.  Man has typically chosen raw power as the first means of expressing our opposition to those thoughts or actions we feel strongly about. It is becoming clear that what Einstein is so famously quoted as saying is true, “You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it.”  The younger generation and the social media outlets are providing a forum for many people to express their ideas, beliefs, and opinions about these worldly events.  This is moving the stick of our evolution at an ever-increasing speed.

“When people know better, they do better.”  ~ Maya Angelou

We may be the toddlers of the universe, and all that means is that we are growing up. And it may seem like it was just a short time ago that we would stand, stumble, trip and fall, but now we are starting to walk.  We may not be ready to run and we may still lose our balance, but we are growing up fast.  Each day provides us opportunities to express our authentic self.  Many times we are still going to say and do things that are not in alignment with that, but we are aware. And with each time that we do take a deep breath of courage and stand in our truth, we are empowered to continue to do so.  When we act consciously and collectively, our strength is multiplied.

With all eyes on our societal shortcomings, we see where we came from.  We express our opposition in healthy ways and remain committed to peace and serenity being the guiding force in our lives. Imagine the world our children and their children will live in with hope and pride.  There is nothing to fear about the future because each new generation is enriched with the mistakes of previous generations for which to decide how they will make their own. So far, it is working perfectly.

Just another reminder to those wishing to change the direction of your own life or helping another to get out of the rut of addictive behaviors, our Path to Peace recovery retreats are just the place to do that.  JR Westen and myself are taking the messages found within the ”Conversations with God”  Cosmology, along with our combined 53 years of personal recovery from alcohol, drug, and food addictions, and offering these retreats as a means of returning people to their authentic selves.  We understand the difficulty people face with overcoming these challenges in life and offer a simple, compassionate, and effective means of living a happy, joyous and free life. These retreats are not simply a weekend long reprieve from our troubles.  Each attendee will be introduced to past and future participants through our community Facebook page.  In addition, any past participant can attend any future P2P retreat for any donation they wish to make.  You read that right, any donation, from $1 to infinity.  We have seen the lives of people change and remain changed from these retreats.  If this is for you, click here to register.

(Kevin McCormack, C.A.d ,is a certified addictions professional. He is a recovering addict with 26 years of sobriety. Kevin is a practicing auriculotherapist, life coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery and also co-facilitates spiritual recovery retreats for the CWG foundation with JR Westen. You can visit his website here for more information. To connect with Kevin, please email him at

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