Last night I was invited to a dinner by some friends for the group FOCUS North America http://www.focusnorthamerica.org/ .
I usually feel grandly awkward in large social settings, and eventually sondered off to a secluded corner to rest my sore knees. These new smart phones are wonderful devices: they allow someone like me to appear busy in a more socially-acceptable way.
Anyway, the founder, and then the director, explained the many efforts they are making at improving our communities, from food pantries and kitchens to counselling services and classes. What their work outlines, quite literally, is the destruction of our society.
How is our society being destroyed, and how is this related to addiction? Addiction is the problem of an immature mind coupled with a magnified response to a substance or behavior. Immaturity is rampant in or society.
We even acknowledge this when medical benefit of parents can be extended to the 'children' until 26 years of age. What does this tell you? An adult in most other societies is already married, bearing children, and at peak production in his field of work. Here, a 26-year-old is unable to care for himself in the eyes of many.
Don't marry in your 20s, you are not mature enough. Wait. Wait for what? To grow up? You grow up by marrying and living a responsible life... but we are coming to an era where people do not know how to be responsible anymore. Rather than having this passed down through families, we are breaking of families and expecting classes to teach lessons that once were taught in the homes that no longer exist.
Our society now sends young people to college in large numbers not to get a career, but to 'find themselves.' They graduate with majors that are not tied to anything useful in the workplace, and so it takes another few years to make the jump from student to employee. You can try making the jump by 'interning' in some fields, provided that your parents pay the bills. One hundred fifty years ago, that was called apprenticing... and you started when you were 12.
What I am trying to say is that we are keeping people in extended periods where life has no meaning. And, when your life has no meaning, your suffering has no meaning. This meaningless suffering is horrendous, and so out of this, paired off with lots of boredom, you have the perfect environment for addiction to take hold.
While FOCUS is trying to do important work in catching the fall-out from this broken system, we must also wonder when the general population will wake up to the fact that we need to go back to some more traditional teachings about families and adulthood and life expectations to stop thus human-grinding that is going on. We really ought to consider the failures we have made as a society and stop trying to double-down on them to get them to work.
They won't. We have enough fruit to prove it.
We cannot create a perfect society, but some societies are better than others. If we look at our social problems, and then we look at what we have been doing, what we ought to be able to do is say that our best efforts to have our way have gotten us here.
What we need to do is go back and look for something different.
Otherwise, we will have only more and more addictions problems to look forward to as people try to deal with the pain of broken families and meaningless lives.