Compelled into a better life.

My choice of chemicals, if I take any at all, is Moltrin, but I also enjoy a frequent alcoholic beverage in the evening as well as coffee to stimulate my brain and body into motion in the morning. So the reality is that like most Americans, and dare I say, probably like the majority of the world, I do ingest a moderate amount of chemicals.

My coming-of-age story took place in the 1960s, a tumultuous time in the U.S.  As I was turning14, I was barely aware that we lost two incredible talents in Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. My connection to the counter-culture of the time was on the fringe. I lived a protected and disciplined life. Consequently, I had no experience with the mind-altering drugs that sent these two and too many others to their graves, other than to study their effects as I majored in psychology in college.

I have since come to appreciate the creativity and contributions that these artists made in the short spans of time they were on this earth. When you consider their influence, you have to wonder how much more we missed by their departure too soon.

I am aware now of peers who were battling addiction before my eyes and I either did not know it or denied that they had any problem dealing with it.  They must be able to handle the pills they are popping, because they seem ok.  I have friends, clients and colleagues who have seen their children through rehab, through arrests, and occasionally through funerals as a result of drug abuse. I know there are people in my life now who are struggling with addictions, either their own or with loved one’s, I just don’t know who they are.  They hide it so well.

We’ve taken steps to liberalize the use of marijuana. It will bring many more dollars to tax treasuries for politicians to spend.

In case you did not know it, we are celebrating (I use the term loosely) the 100th anniversary of the federal income tax, a tax that was initiated at the start of prohibition. At that time, the federal government obtained nearly 70% of its revenue from tax on liquor. If prohibition was coming, something would have to replace the income. Prohibition has long since been repealed, but the income tax is still with us stronger than ever. 

We and those we love make choices everyday to do things that help us or hurt us. We can only work to set the values, and pray that the choices made are based on values that keep us physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

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