I am blessed to be so situated that any number of people reach out to me for help almost daily. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be thought of as one whose experience and advice may be helpful.
Many studies have been done about happiness, and what it is exactly that makes people happy. What these various studies have uncovered, and I must concur, is that being useful far outranks property, prestige, hi-tech gadgetry, jewels, or stock portfolios as the source of true happiness. Everyone enjoys nice things and creature comforts and I am no different. I am aware, however, that my self-esteem is increased by doing estimable acts, and being useful makes me feel, well, useful. It also makes me happy. And while it remains a privilege to be reached out to (to feel useful and consequently happy), I also continue to be greatly frustrated by the fact that when I am asked for suggestions - suggestions are given - and then completely disregarded.
Oh, what fools these mortals be!
It's not always easy for me to remember that I never learned from anyone else's mistakes, or that I rarely followed the advice of others unless it was exactly what I wanted to hear at the moment. Nor, I should add, did I stop selfish and self-destructive behavior until I was utterly defeated by its consequences.
The unfortunate truth of being part of a community of recovering people is that there will always be an unavoidable body count. While certainly heart-breaking, these tragedies need to be learned from, and their experience must be shared if others are to benefit from them (otherwise these tragedies would be senseless, indeed). I hope that the fledglings who are in my path right now aren't added to that endless procession of unfortunates who have gone on before. But whether they are or not (and this may sound more cold-hearted than it really is), it is imperative for me to remember that it's better them than me. And if I have any ability at all to share a message of hope with them, I would like to be able to communicate what my experience has shown me - that surrender is essential, and that nothing changes if nothing changes.