Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another Angry Reader

On Wednesday, I received a notice in my email that someone had left a message on my most popular post of all time: the post about my views regarding drugs (being "the devil's candy"). It's amazing to me that this post continues to be ranked number one as people Google-search anything dealing with drugs and somehow finding my blogpost, which is my opinion about drugs. Those who have left messages have been very condemning. This latest posted comment appeared in my email but when I checked the actual blog, the writer apparently had second thoughts and deleted it. Nevertheless, I still have the comments, so here is what the angry poster wrote:
"im sorry but you are just a lonely loser who left a party because your friends were smoking and drinking? are you serious? if you are wiling to be that antisocial because you are not respectful of other people's choices, than go ahead, live and die alone my friend."
Here's my thoughts on the comment:

1) I absolutely hate it when people start off any sentence or disagreement with "I'm sorry, but..." Do you realize how mealy-mouthed that sounds? If you're going to make an opinion, don't apologize for it. You only show a weak hand. Own up to your view and be bold! Otherwise, don't bother. It's not a good way to make an argument or a comment.

2) That post mentioned my experience as a 16 year old (back in 1988!) being disappointed at seeing classmates (actually, castmates...we had a party at the conclusion of our play, You Can't Take It With You) drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. This was a clash of values for me. Does that make me a "lonely loser"? No. It's just a difference in what I valued in comparison to what they valued. But I was 16 years old. Give me some credit that I've relaxed a bit in the 24 years since!!!

3) Is it "anti-social" to see people doing things you don't agree with (we were all under the age of 21, so drinking was illegal, as was smoking marijuana) and leaving the party because you don't feel like you fit in? I made the right choice and when I arrived home, my mom was waiting for me. Imagine her reaction if I had come home drunk or high. I respected my parents. 24 years later, my parents are still in my life, but none of those people at the party (except for one person) are in my life. I have no idea what they are doing now. The one person I reconnected with through Facebook and I valued his friendship, then and now.

4) How was I not respectful of other people's choices? I did not tell a single person not to drink or smoke a joint. I simply refused to participate and left. What is wrong with that? They weren't respectful of my choice to associate with people who were fully present and not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

It amazes me that people are so enthrall of drugs that whenever they see someone with an opinion that does not agree with them that drugs are wonderful things, they go apoplectic and just lash out at you. Whatever. I stand my ground. There is nothing great about using drugs. Just ask Whitney Houston. Or Michael Jackson. Or Elvis Presley. Or River Phoenix. Or Corey Haim. Or David Kennedy (RFK's son). All of them died because of drugs. I prefer to live life fully present with people. Once you've experienced the euphoric bliss through meditation, you understand the futility of drugs.

Which reminds of a cool story that I read once. The gist of it was, a Zen master caught a man at a spiritual retreat using drugs so he asked for the man to turn over his drugs. The man handed it over. The Zen master put it in his mouth and swallowed them. He asked if the man had any more. The man reluctantly admitted that he did and handed them over. The Zen master put those into his mouth and swallowed them. The man was stunned and afraid that the Zen master would overdose. He still had a hidden stash and the Zen Master demanded that he turn over all the drugs in his possession. When the man did, the Zen Master swallowed all of them. The man became afraid that the Zen Master would overdose on him. He took more pills than was humanly possible. The Zen Master just looked at him and said, "I don't understand what these drugs do for you. I can't feel a thing."

I'm sure I did not write it exactly as I read it, but the point is, the reason why the drugs had zero effect on the Zen Master is because the Zen Master has experienced euphoric bliss through meditation and no drug is able to give him that level of "high." That's the difference and it matters. The body builds up a tolerance towards drugs and alcohol, which means that one has to take more and more doses or drinks to achieve the same level of "euphoria."

But there's also the side-effects and hangovers when you over-indulge. Anyone who has experienced this knows the hell the body feels (having been drunk a few times, I have never felt like hell as much as during a hangover). When you meditate, you can get to the blissful euphoric state pretty quickly and it has zero negative effects on the body and you don't have negative side-effects afterwards. Also, your body doesn't build up a tolerance, requiring more and more meditation to achieve the same level of bliss. The more you meditate, the easier it gets to reach that state of euphoric bliss. It's that simple. This is why I wrote in that "popular" post that drugs are "the devil's candy." It's a bad deal that lessens the quality of your life. If you can achieve the same end goal through meditation, why not go that route? Meditation is free and available at any time of day or night. It's really that simple. Think of all the money you'll save when you meditate instead of medicate! Give it a try.

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