I am not going to live to see the day that the system is going to change fundamentally. I am not.
The reason that I am not going to live to see that day is because a certain social system will beget a certain kind of ideology, and that ideology will beget a certain kind of medical system, a certain kind of mental health system, a certain kind of social work system, a certain kind of prison system, and all of that.
The system itself generates a certain way of looking at human life that is short of reality. If we lived in a social system that valued human life, would we be destroying the environment? Would we be doing so many things that we do? I’m not trying to be negative. I just want to get related to reality. The question is, how are we going to relate to reality? That’s the system that we’re working in.
We do have a decision to make, given that that’s how it is. What’s going to be our attitude towards that? What would you like your attitude to be towards what I’ve just said?
You do have to accept that that’s how it is but you don’t have to accept that there is no possibility of change and that therefore it’s futile. You don’t have to accept that at all, and I don’t accept that either. Otherwise, why do what we do? It’s important to validate peoples’ frustration and to accept ‘it is how it is’ and we’re still going to do what we do.
Your work is making a lot of difference to a lot of people. If you weren’t doing your work they would be a lot worse off. That’s just how it is. You get to decide every day how you are going to show up and what your attitude is going to be.
The above quote is excerpted from a Compassionate Inquiry workshop taught in Edmonton in Sept 2017.
Dr. Gabor Maté, Sat Dharam Kaur ND and Manjeet Adi Egervari ND will be leading a 9 day Beyond Addiction Immersion in Budapest Sept 22-30, 2018.
For other Beyond Addiction trainings, see Beyond Addiction Training.