In recent weeks I have written about accountability with the focus being directed mainly at the police and other government institutions. Today I’m going to be shining the light on us and how in our cynical society it is becoming all too easy to just blame other people for things which we should be taking some personal responsibility for. This line of thought started for me this week when I read an article in The Guardian by Russell Brand which says Phillip Seymour Hoffman is another victim of extremely stupid drug laws. Wrong. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was the victim of his own choices and actions.
It doesn’t matter what laws are in force regarding any aspect of life the final consequence is always going to be as a result of the choices you make and the action you take. In the case of Mr Hoffman if you choose to be a drug user then prepare for the possibility you will self destruct. Russell’s argument in this case is that we don’t treat drug users correctly. I’m sure if Mr Hoffman wanted it all the help in the world would have been available to him. But we are going off topic, I’m not going to enter that debate of how to treat drug addicts today because it’s a whole different can of worms which I’m not really qualified to comment on. If you have read any of my previous articles or listened to any of my radio shows you will know I am as informed as anyone on the whole “War on Drugs” and the prison for profit business. I know people who have died from drug abuse, I’ve witnessed drug abuse with my own eyes but what I’m talking about today is personal responsibility.
I have very little sympathy for Phillip Seymour Hoffman, if it wasn’t for the fact he has left behind fatherless children I would have none at all. This may sound a little harsh but Mr Hoffman was successful at what he did, he had the world in the palm of his hand to do anything he wanted and he CHOSE heroin which he would have known leads to addiction. It was this choice that has led to his early demise and in the wise words from the film A Bronx Tale there is nothing more tragic in life than wasted talent.
There is a huge drug problem in this country and across the world, extending beyond illegal drugs to include prescription drugs. But with drugs it is all about personal choice, you would have to grow up under a rock to not know what lies at the end of the substance abuse road. Most people take drugs as a release, some people take them to purposely self destruct because their lives have just become so unbearable due to one personal tragedy to the next. But the bottom line always remains the same, people become addicted to drugs because they choose to take them. When I want release I will read a good book because I know the outcome of this activity will be constructive and not destructive. You don’t need laws to deal with book addictions do you, who was the last person to die because of stupid anti-book laws?
Today’s piece is only brief, the thought for today is that no matter how oppressed you may be the way you deal with this is always under your control, the choices you make are ultimately your own. I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of things trying to influence our choices and decisions, life is hard and we all know the odds are deliberately stacked against us. The pitfalls of drugs and addiction are placed there on purpose, we are supposed to fall down them because an addict is a useless member of society, they are one less person to worry about because they are under firm control.
If you want to rise up against oppression then you need to rise up and fight back. This can only be achieved through smart and informed choices. Think. Research. Observe. Listen. Watch. Look for the pitfalls you are supposed to fall down and avoid them, how can people rise up when they are constantly falling down?
This article is authored by Lee Cooper
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