Saturday, 28 December 2013

Addiction and Moral Character

'Choodu! tagubothu yadava! tinnadi aragagapothe elanti picchi panulu chestharu! veelatho matladatam koda wastu!'

Translated into English, this roughly means 'LOOK!look at that useless drunkard! Even talking to his kind is a waste of time'

Growing up,many of us have heard variations of this sentence, in different languages, from different people , ranging from parents to aunts, uncles, grandparents, acquaintances and even friends.

However, this ideology that everyone who drinks, smokes or does any of the other 'vices' is  necessarily useless, or worthless exemplifies a world where everything is either black or white.
How true is this?

Now,I am not trying to support drinking, or smoking. While im not completely against them, I definitely do not encourage them . In fact, I am pro-Anti addiction.

But, what I am trying to say is this. Maybe like many other things, here too there is a vast grey area. Why do they drink? Why do they smoke? When does it become a problem? What does it say about character? Why do we judge people who have recovered from addiction ? When they are ready to help themselves and move on, WHY do we still label them and push their past in their face at every opportunity?
Some say that turning to these psychoactive substances is weakness. I say, that being able to recover and regain control over yourself and your life is strength. 
What these people, who are brave enough to accept they have a problem and strong enough to make the change need is forgiveness, encouragement, acknowledgement and a warm environment. Now im not saying forget all their sins. That is stupid because some things can never be forgotten. But try to forgive them. Or , at least try to be a passive observer, because a hostile environment is the strongest determinant of chances of rebounding.
Realize that addiction and character, while complicatedly entwined, are not necessarily inter-dependent. So the next time you see a person genuinely trying, if you cant encourage them , at least don't discourage them through your words or actions.