What the People Want, What the People Need

Data Doesn’t Lie, Drug Dealers Do

Americans in the US want to feel good. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this aspiration. To be free of pain and enjoying the moment means different things for different folks, but it’s as close to a universal desire as we probably can assume. The trouble comes when we mistake pleasure for happiness.

Pleasure is a stranger we call a friend. Many times, we can be fooled into thinking that something is good because it feels good, but the opioid epidemic suggests otherwise. Our people have been deceived by pushers and dealers who do not care about the tidal waves of tragedy that accompany every single overdose.

What is the Root Cause of Our Pain?

This is where things get tricky. Any honest analysis of the problems that plague our people expands into planetary proportions. We have not been good stewards of the environment. The first step to solving any problem is identifying it as such. Next, we need to be accountable for our own mistakes and shortcomings and to develop a plan to do better.

Here there be dragons.

This is precisely where the pushers and politicians set up camp like Sea Lions by the river mouth picking off Salmon returning to their stream to spawn. The terror of self analysis creates the perfect conditions for selling escapism. Instead of looking inward and doing the hard work of honestly assessing your own complicity in your problems, it is endlessly more attractive to blame someone else and take refuge in some kind of pleasure inducing pain relief.

Culture Exists Upstream of Politics

In a democratic society, politicians are fairly limited in the stances they can take. If they want to keep their positions, they must satisfy their base. Politics will never solve our problems. We must transform our culture. Only when the people want what we actually need will politicians become useful.

We are addicted to our pain because it helps us to justify our drug use. Only when enough of us build up the courage to stop this pattern of abuse will the downward spiral reverse and become a virtuous cycle. In order to do this, we must replace our damaging habits with restorative ones.

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