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Back in Time: Altruism

Updated on October 12, 2012

The moment of terror had passed through the madhouse of the Twilight Zone. The middle of the night weighed heavy on my guilty mind. Giving pills to anyone deemed having an addictive personality is a storm on the loose; regardless of whether they are baby aspirin or narcotics. As a concerned parent, I had inadvertently opened the door condoning such behavior; the destructive nature of self medication. The turn of phrase ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ reminded me I was tired, tired of taking chances. I was weary, all of us, were weary. My mind, in its present state of mind… had a mind of its own.

As I drifted along the currents of consciousness, the warring factions of internal conflict subtlety reached a full scale battle. I recall struggling with clarity, focus, contentment and interpersonal relationship as a sober being. When I allowed myself any form of controlled relief, the distraction would vanish. The high-flying downside was a ‘filter- less’ temperament; in short, I’d say what was on my mind. I learned in this thin-skinned society, speaking one’s mind, regardless of how well the message is articulated, can be dubious at best.

My trepidation as an enabler stems from surfing the downward spiral only to wipe-out at the bottom of a bottle. The double cross consternation disguises itself in the form of justification. It’s the pleasure center’s domination when competing against the cerebral cortex that drowns the labors of the functional addict.

‘I feel that stinging dismay, at the end of each day; lying in bed, forlorn in my head; left only to sigh, left alone to ask why?’

The battle without is a hollow victory within. The allusion suggests otherwise; be it a chemical imbalance or deemed a life experience; neither elucidation can expunge the damage from the storm. An alcoholic will tell you he doesn’t need a reason to drink… an addict’s predilection to alter the dynamic… the skeleton breaking free from the inhibiting closet.

The warring factions weighed heavy on my guilty mind. I questioned the rule of sobriety. I challenged anyone’s right to infringe on the pursuit of my happiness, provided I respected the rule of law. I examined my life when I thrived in the Federal Government as a cold, calculating and heartless human being. Eventually, I came to the conclusion a father cannot thrive embracing those qualities. When giving the choice between God, Country or Family, I had determined it was best to choose the latter.

I contemplated ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ principle. I harkened back upon the daze of the past, recalling my personal elemental history. I pondered the sustenance of the predicaments which landed me in the life I embodied; the repercussions of the self inflicted damage I had exacted upon the beacon of my mind, body, heart and soul. At best, the recollection was a misty haze; an increasingly vanishing evanescence of memories.

The question had always ended with the same question. Was it the way it actually happened or was it the way I remember it happening? Finally, I would conclude it doesn’t really matter; it didn’t really matter. Back then, nothing really mattered. History revealed I exhibited selfless acts, consummating from previous commitments; acts of good, be it for God, country or family... as I felt myself drifting off to sleep. That place of peace and serenity… that place my son could no longer seek asylum, and I could do nothing to stop it.

As parents we’re occasionally left to hope through the adage ‘in the pain there is healing’. I really couldn’t afford being distracted scrutinizing the ideological virtues of the American system of Justice; be it justice doled from God, country or family. All three shared the same recipe for potential disaster. I needed to maintain my focus regarding a pledge I made decades hence. The unbeknownst commitment made to our newborns. The universal parental commitment to always be there when they needed us; even when they think they don’t need us. I couldn’t resolve the question, if self-sacrifice was essential to attain both justice and commitment. My brain was spinning in concentric circles. I wouldn’t be figuring out that conundrum tonight. Surely by morning it will be a forgotten thought.

Before long, dawn would break portending a new day. From there, the possibilities were incalculable as to where we would land by sunset. Much to my dismay, I had failed to connect; get through to my clone circuit. Of course, as a doting parent, it was my failure that I didn’t. I felt myself letting go, conceding we can’t always protect our kids from life’s machine. The best we can do is to prepare them… if and when… the ‘bullet hits the bone’. In the name of humanity, the concentric circles finally subsided, fading with the protracted thoughts of justice… commitment…. Altruism.....

In the name of humanity…!


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