Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Positive View


What do we overly sensitive addicts do when confronted with examples of the fragility of life? Of the evil that sometimes seems to dominate our world?

In the past few days there's been much negative news, such as the slaughter of innocents in Aurora, Colorado. And news organizations, as is their wont, must present us with minute details about the participants and the perpetrator. After all, that's what sells newspapers and keeps people glued to their televisions. It ‘s indeed tragic when things like this happen in our society. After all, we’re part of the human community and what affects one somehow affects us all in some way.

I try to counterbalance this onslaught of negative news by also recognizing the positive in our world.

A good example is the story of the bus monitor who was verbally assaulted on video by mindlessly cruel middle-school students. The great news today is that a fund established for her by a Canadian man has now ballooned to over $700,000.  It’s refreshing to realize there are thousands of loving, compassionate people willing to send money to help an abuse victim.

Another wonderful example in the news this morning was a story about a South African sprinter who’s competing in the Olympics on prosthetic limbs. I found it amusing to read that other competitors are claiming the man with the prosthetics has an unfair advantage in the competition. Don't we live in a wonderful world when technology transforms the disadvantaged into unfair competitors?

I may be rambling here, but the point is we can focus our vision where we want. And while I believe it’s important to recognize evil in the world, I also believe it's important to not allow it to inundate us to the point we believe the dark side is the ordinary.

To overcome negativity we must be careful where we focus our attention.