When you’re in an environment that devalues emotions and morals, and holds up money and winning at all costs as its aspirational goals, it’s far too easy to absorb that way of thinking. So how do you combat the creep of emotional dysfunction disorder?
Even if you don’t suffer from EDD, the old “good works” standby can help you.
My last couple years in DC, there was a homeless guy that was a fixture on the block. At first, my conscience smote me when I traipsed into Starbucks to spend five bucks on a cup of coffee, and he held the door for me, smiling and wishing me a good day. Sure, there was a little manipulation involved, but let’s look at the facts: This homeless guy offered me a kindness. So I started giving him a buck a couple times a week, and then, every day I saw him. We actually struck up conversations. His name was Antonio. He was somewhat unique among the homeless in that he typically was bathed and his clothes were clean, didn’t seem to be on drugs or alcohol, and he was articulate. He liked to talk about the Lord, not in the fire and brimstone way, but how God was always looking out for him, and for me.
I never found out why he stayed out on the street, but I sure hope he’s off it now. He did me a great service, allowing me to connect with someone completely unlike me, and put my problems in perspective.
I hope you can all find an Antonio. It will help you as you reshape your life.