Three surprising things that could alleviate drug abuse and violence
Photo credit: Ralf Weiser, The Goshen Country Fair
Actually, there are a few other things that would most likely be eradicated from Earth if we humans could finally figure out this pattern of drug and alcohol abuse. The world right now seems to be engaged in doing the opposite. War and terror happen every day and even here at home we face terrible challenges with depression, drug abuse and violence as well.
While volunteering at the local country fair in West Chester PA it occurred to me that there may be a few things we can all do helping to change this. Here a few volunteers come together once a year, helping the local fire company generate operating funds for the following year. We do not see each other for the whole year and you should see the joyful greeting when everybody comes in to work.
The work is grueling. Working long hours behind fryers, making dough, melting grease, sugaring the donuts, and selling them up front take a lot of everybody. Yet, you see only smiles. Some of the more seasoned folks coach the many volunteers who stop by throughout the day and evening trying to help wherever they can. Some of them work until well past midnight before everything is cleaned up and is ready to go for the next day. 6 nights go by really fast this way.
On the last night we are almost sad it is over. People may be glad the grunt work is over, but everybody misses this little family – tribe – until the next year comes around. The cycle will continue.
There are three key items here that make this a very rewarding and uplifting experience. They lead to a sense of accomplishment and also a sense that you are needed: YOUR contribution counts! You are part of a team that needs you and will watch out for you. Here are the three things you can do:
- Volunteering: Even just to get out of the house feels good sometimes. The cream on top is when sharing your talents with others on behalf of others you also create a sense of being needed. Physical and mental activity are good for body and soul. It is even more beautiful when all of this helps others make it through another day too. Added bonus here is that when you get to know people closely, you get to know that they too are just people like you and me. All we are after is to care for our own and to pursue happiness. You do everything you can to help out and violence no longer has a chance. How cool is that?
- Seeking community: When you are depressed and all you want to do is to be alone, do exactly the opposite. The moments you commune with other people you just may learn that other people have even bigger issues than you. Added bonus about surrounding yourself with people is that when you become part of a tribe (people you end up being around with a lot) they will also look out for you when you need it the most. When people start to depend on your contributions (even if it is just for you to be there for someone), how can you feel bad about that? It is a very fulfilling feeling that you are needed.
- Mentoring / coaching; The moment you take on a few people even more closely trying to help them you really are kicking up the point I am trying to make above. It is great when you have figured out something that made you a specialist at something. By the way everybody is a specialist at something! It is a blessing beyond measure when you share this with folks who would like to better themselves. There is no greater feeling when someone whom you are coaching can start getting better at this, or even becomes a specialist as well.
Most things in life are right in front of us and we just cannot recognize them for what they are and what they can do for us and others. There would be a lot less misery in our world if all of us did more of the three things that I mentioned above. Hatred and violence have no chance when everybody would surround themselves with people that care about you and you care about them.