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 31st 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.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Learning Gratitude

Our society has faced a lot of challenges since this worldwide pandemic. The challenges include unemployment, increased drug and alcohol use, businesses closing down because the government has put regulations in place to protect society at large.

In spite of the changes that have taken place I think that the world is going to be better once science has slowed or stopped this disease.

And I know this might sound strange in the face of the suffering we see around us, but I have seen a lot of people volunteer to help those who are sick from this disease. I have seen people at TLC who sometimes act like they don't give a crap about anything, step up and sanitize living areas, keep their distance from others, and wear irritating masks even though that's the last thing they want to do.

I know that if someone came up with a magical cure tomorrow that a tsunami of gratitude would sweep around the world and many would remember the good old days when they could do whatever they want, go wherever they want, and not have to worry about social distancing, sanitizing their hands, or wearing masks.

But I think gratitude is something we learn. I don't believe we come out of our mother's womb full of gratitude. Otherwise, why would we be be screaming and crying? Gratitude is a learned skill. And I think that some of us only learned it once we lose something we once took for granted as being a part of everyday life. And once we lose the freedom to socialize with whomever we want whenever we want, that's a huge loss.

And the entrepreneurs among us are not only suffering personal losses from the disease, but many have had to close their doors and shut down their businesses because customers were no longer able to utilize their services because of government mandates.

Even though this is a worldwide disease, we Americans love our freedom. And last year when this thing first broke loose we saw a lot of people who felt like they had a freedom to do anything, even if it endangered the lives of others. Only when those they loved, such as members of their family - were infected by other family members - did people begin to start taking things seriously. I remember during the first months of this thing that college students were throwing "Covid 19" parties and the guests who contracted Covid 19 got the honor of hosting the next Covid19 party. It was only when those who thought they were invulnerable to the disease started catching it and dying did things begin to change.

Once we have the freedom to live our lives as we choose we will look back on these days and have gratitude because they are behind us.

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