SERENITY CONNECTION: Michelle & Jack

“We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.”  Michelle Obama

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/integrity.html
INTEGRITY
  1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness:
    “he is known to be a man of integrity”

    synonyms:honesty · probity · rectitude · honor · good character · principle(s) ·

    [more]

    ethics · morals · righteousness · morality · virtue · decency · fairness · scrupulousness · sincerity · truthfulness · trustworthiness

Many of us were reared by decent parents who put “integrity” above all other principles and values.  Many of us also failed miserably to follow the roots of our upbringing chasing after the mother of all demons-alcohol.  Recovery from alcoholism renewed those values which stand up to history as characteristics that are highly admired and cherished.

We want integrity as the cornerstone of our recoveries.  We strive for honesty, decency, sincerity, trustworthiness, and ethics ceaselessly in our relationships with family and at work.  Being labeled a liar is tantamount to an unacceptable personal failure leading us to renew our personal inventories and “promptly admitting when we are wrong.”  That’s who we are as grateful recovering addicts.

We are extremely fortunate to have a program which advocates honesty and spiritual growth.  My sponsor frequently lamented those poor unfortunates who do not have Alcoholics Anonymous to guide them through life.  For those of us who are alcoholic, AA has been a lifesaver.  For others who are not alcoholic, the principles of AA would nonetheless bring a shining light into a darkened world of humanity.

The ethics of politics sometimes appears to be non-existent.  We do not see integrity flowing from the mouths of our leaders, both Democrat and Republican, and most noticeably from the President and his administration.  Lies are supplied to us as truths even to the absurdity of being called alternative truth.  The principles which sustain and guide us are thrown to the wayside by the unscrupulous, devious, unprincipled, self-serving men and women who are supposedly engaged in government activity as servants to us, the citizens.

We know better, they do not.  They do not abide by standards that are linked to the words of Michelle Obama in the opening quote.  The children of President Trump were raised by a father who does not cherish our values, who places himself above the laws of society and the justice system which sustains our freedoms and liberty.  The children of President Trump were raised in “country club” privilege to be served by others rather than to serve others.  One of my blogger friends wrote a great post regarding the privileged children of today’s society:

https://endsandbeginningsblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/privilege/

 

Those of us who remember Jack Kennedy will never forget a quote which is possibly his greatest contribution to our culture:

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather, ask what you can do for your country.”

Simple words which, if taken seriously by today’s population, could turn our country back to a kinder, more generous, and more honorable path in human history.  It’s up to us to gently prod, adamantly urge, and vocally assert the foundations of integrity and civility which we know to be the truth regarding the survival of our nation.  Never accept what has been foisted upon us as a legitimate government claiming to be representative of a great America.  We are descended from a pioneering people of exponentially greater nobility and character than the administration and its supporters who sit in Washington, D.C., today.

RENEWAL

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Especially for those of us who belong to this club of recovering drinkers, involving ourselves in controversy carries a greater degree of risk than most of our friends and family.  In sobriety we become keenly aware of social injustice, of bigotry, and racism and we carry that concern into our daily lives sometimes with quite a negative effect upon our desire for ‘clean and serene’.

It’s a delicate balance we seek juggling a sense of civic responsibility with the peace we have found in our recovery program.  Sometimes, as in this election, we go overboard with the politicking.  After all, we are alcoholics.  We never did anything in moderation.

Whatever the outcome of our election might be, for most of us life will go on much as before.  We will work our jobs, pay our taxes, support our families, and give homage to our Higher Power.  It is, therefore, extremely crucial that we maintain our sense of priority.  For us, the humility described in the writings of Alcoholic Anonymous, “a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become who we could be,” needs to become the focal point once again of our recovery.

Possibly a personal inventory and clean sweep is in order followed by a heart and mind renewal.

FREE AT LAST

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Having based my recovery from alcoholism on the principle of "God as I understand Him", later into my sobriety time I returned to the Evangelical Christian theology of my familial tradition.  It was familiar and it was comforting.

This election campaigning has become much greater than Republican or Democrat.  It has become deeply personal as I learn that friends and family members with whom I have walked for many years through life's journey, who also describe themselves as Evangelical Christian, within the realm of their Christian ethics somehow can justify  supporting a man who displays none of the values I hold dear.

Am I not Christian?  Are they not Christian?  Are we all playing a game here trying to score points with God by talking the Bible, by going to church, by professing Jesus out one side of the mouth and then revealing out the other side what is truly on our hearts in the political arena?

I find myself wanting to retreat to early sobriety philosophy, "God as I understand Him."  This may be the wisest and most God-honoring choice I have made in many years.  And it frees me to embrace and celebrate without retribution from church and family the great diversity of our world's cultures: Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jew, white, black, gay, straight.

Maybe that's what Martin Luther King was talking about,  "Free at last."