To the editor:
One of the dangers we face in this life is subtle and difficult to see.
It is the slow, gradual, process of losing interest in our lives, not engaging with life, with people, friends, neighbors, nature, even institutions and organizations.
We find ourselves isolated, alone, and alienated. And we tell ourselves we like it that way. Then things start to go wrong ? minor things at first. We want to control things we have no control over like other people.
Eventually, something seriously goes wrong and we become angry, intolerant, and even mean without realizing it.
This happens more frequently with older people but young people experience it, too.
At its worst, this attitude of not caring about life can lead to self-destructive behavior: drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, and other kinds of addictions. If it does, the serious trouble begins.
One might ask our heavenly father, ?Lord, may I slowly destroy myself in peace? I?m not bothering anyone.
It?s my life; I can do what I want with it.?
The answer might be, ?No, the life you have been given is a blessing. To serve others will always be its highest purpose and your greatest source of joy.?
Few of us go through life without finding it more of a curse than a blessing at times. But when we do, it is the beginning of a long, slow, spiral downward. If we have faith, almost anything can begin to pull us out again: The sound of children laughing, a book of profound wisdom, a beautiful song, a walk in the woods, a long talk with a devoted friend.
What are the signs of pulling out, moving forward, and seeing life as a blessing again?
Often it is some form of creative work that had been put aside: Painting, writing, singing, teaching, dancing and acting are just a few. But the most rewarding sign is finding that you want to help others find their way back.
And that usually begins with just listening to others; no advice, no counsel, no feedback, just patiently and kindly listening to others.
Our treasure in heaven will always be how we touch others? lives, how we serve them, how we respond to their trials, their pain and suffering. No other achievement compares to our treasure in heaven.
And when we serve, we are returning our blessings to their source: an infinite source of love, forgiveness and peace.
? Jim Turner, Fairfield