The Means are the Ends

To say we’re a goal-oriented society is a massive understatement.  Goals are good, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing inherently wrong with setting and working towards goals.  However, it is possible to become too goal-oriented.  Not only are we a goal-oriented society but we are an achievement-oriented society.  In fact, we’re more or less taught that goals are only goals if they have something to do with productivity and achievement.  They must be measurable or they are not goals.  Further, success and the appearance of success represent the highest form of status.  The ends justify the means, so the saying goes.  This is just another way of saying that the means don’t matter.  We’ve taken this to the extreme.  

It comes as no surprise then that families want to know, first and foremost, how do I get my loved one sober?  It’s an honest question, I get it, but it isn’t necessarily realistic.  In my role as a sort of “guide,” I can’t answer that question.  I can only answer the question, “Where do we begin?”  

Once we (as a society) mix our results-obsession with our increasingly short attention spans and decreasing patience for delayed gratification we end up with a large group of people who are overly attentive to the “ends” of things and rather neglectful about the means through which we arrive at them.  In other words, we pay attention to results and overlook the profound spiritual depth of process.

What do I mean when I say "process"?  

Check back tomorrow.