Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Powerless Over People, Places and Things

Bill W.

There is a strange contradiction at work in human existence that’s been underscored by the current election. Early voting records have been set in many states. There has been a clarion call for action, particularly amongst the Democrats who have been out to unseat Trump. Of course every little bit helps. Whether it’s a matter of making a donation, getting and mailing an absentee ballot in on time or actually showing up at the polls, the presupposition is that individuals make a difference. The flip side is that many people are taking the election personally under the theory that it's their voice which is being silenced or heard. However, there's another issue. Anyone who thinks that their behavior can have a life-changing effect on something like an election is playing god. "I" gets confused with "we." It’s a huge burden to bear and ultimately a disappointment once you come back down to earth and realize you're just a cog in the wheel. In fact, while it’s important to act, it’s also relieving to know that if there is a God, you’re not it. This last is one of the shibboleths of the recovery movement which sells the notion of powerlessness. So, while it’s crucial to take a moral stance in most instances, it's delusional to believe that you're in control. It’s like the person who watches the television monitor and thinks that the nightly newscaster whether its Anderson Cooper or Chris Wallace is talking to them. You vote, you may even knock on doors, but basically your candidate doesn't and shouldn't know who you are. Otherwise he or she is not doing their job--which is to attend to his or her flock.

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