Friendship And Support Are Great To Have

As I wrote in my blog yesterday, my commitment is to send an email daily to the President to protest the war in Afghanistan.  But I don’t want this blog to just become a protest blog because there is much more to focus on than what is wrong.  So some days I will not post the letter itself but account for how many days I have sent a protest letter.  Please join me in this effort if you feel so inspired.  

Today I wanted to focus on the importance of support from people you can count on.  Over the last 3 months three of the graduates of our treatment program have formed a very strong support network with each other and of course with AA.  This mini-network is providing lots of support on almost a daily basis for each other.  They talk, check-in, and give support.  Then they go to meetings together and because of each other their recovery program is going very strongly.  This is the benefit of having people you can count on for support.

The support I am emphasizing is mental and emotional support.  My work is about providing that support but everyone doesn’t have a counselor they can talk to on a regular basis.   Friends and family can provide mental and emotional support if they are: good at listening, encouraging, accepting and compassionate. 

Everyone benefits from encouragement and compassionate listening.  Unfortunately many people listen impatiently or hardly at all, they are critical and judgmental, and much more about themselves than anyone else.  Sometimes does it seems like the world has sped up so much that no one has time to listen or even seems to care. 

There are fortunately many who do care and that is why we have friends.  Friends who listen, who care, who are kind, who understand, who value us, who encourage and support us are such a gift.  Remember those friends, your support network and be sure and remind them this holiday season how much you value their support and friendship. 

Now letter # 2:

Dear President Obama,  I want to share my support for you for taking on this incredibly difficult job of being president.  You are a brave person and an inspiration to myself and many others.

Today I want to respectfully question your decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.  This decision seems so wrong to me because it is driven by fear and guided by the false hope for control.  The idea of an enemy is about fearing the unknown and human history is filled with the slaughter of others because of such fears. 

When will we evolve past this fear and reactivity and seek common ground instead of control.  If you don’t alter this pattern who will?  How are you being more conscious if you slip into the patterns of the past and not step into the light of positive change?

Please change your mind and work for peace. 

Joseph Bernard, Ph.D.