(2014-06-18 2:56 AM)
Unfortunately I grew up in an era where men especially were not supeospd to have feelings. If you cried you were a sissy (never figured out what the literal translation of the word was). You were expected to live up to other's expectations, not yours. As a result a lot of us became addicted to one mind-altering chemical or another to ease the pain that developed over all those years of self-loathing. For myself living in this mind-altered state, I could not see outside myself and realize the real suffering of my fellow man, whether he or she was orphaned in some far-away corner of Africa or homeless on the streets of my home town. To my good fortune, my addiction brought me into a real relationship with God and through Him I found a way out. Now being aware of myself and the creation God made in me, I have in turn become aware of the plight of those around me and in our world. Dying was my greatest fear as a child and an adult. The mystery of death is the root of my fear. As a child I was afraid of what was going to happen next with my mother and father. Would I be ignored, criticized, beaten or praised? Now that I have gotten past most of the harm done by that environment, I am more aware and less afraid of the world I live in. I doubt the most hardened criminal, when faced with death, would dare be so arrogant. I live life with a daily reprieve from my addiction. I pray for those who suffer from illness, starvation, loneliness, abuse, and spiritual malady. For me, I have been fortunate and by the Grace of God not had to endure the suffering experienced by many. So my goal is to contribute to others less fortunate and share my experience, strength and hope to the suffering men, women, and children of this world.