Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 900-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 30th year of recovery.

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

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Being our Best

I was following the news the other day and I heard a disturbing story. It seems that in various areas of California Asians were being blamed for the coronavirus. Some were assaulted. Others were yelled at, spit on, and told they should go back to where they came from. Most of those initiating the attacks were minorities themselves, people who had come from other countries. The report finished with the information that the FBI is looking into these assaults as civil rights violations.

I probably shouldn't have been surprised to hear these stories, even though I know it's human nature to blame others for our difficulties.

My experience in Arizona is entirely different. It seems like there's more a sense of community, the idea that we're all in the same boat and that we should do what we can to help one another. When I'm out in public or in a store I noticed that people are more courteous and polite. The same seems to extend to the way people drive, which at one point was aggressively.

I would like to think that this common enemy we're facing will bring the best out of us. I know several people who have been quarantining and can't go out and shop on their own. Yet, they have friends and others looking out for them, making sure they are okay. Some of them have been quarantining for three and four weeks because they have health issues and don't want to be exposed.

I think that when people play the blame game and put responsibility for this virus on other people – while they may be right – it doesn't do them any good on a personal level.. It does us much better in terms of healing and keeping our stress down to hope that everyone comes through this as best they can. To be angry, to hate, and to attack others does nothing but raise our stress level and makes us more vulnerable to whatever might be out there that could endanger us.

Kindness to others is good therapy.

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