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8/05/2004
personal/social
When I was younger I felt that I was a slave to my emotions. I turned to therapy and different kinds of self-help and group-type activities to try to figure it all out. At the same time I had a real sense that I needed to do something to make the world a better place. It never occurred to me that these two strong pulls in me were related to each other.

For the last 8 years I've been involved in the Humanist Movement where we see personal and social change as being intertwined and each necessary for the other. Every time I work on myself (my fear, my anger, my jealousy, my resentment, me feeling like I'm nothing, etc.) it allows me to do more in the world (to reach out more, to have more energy, to connect more with myself and therefore with others, etc.). In turn, this action in the world either reinforces the personal work I've already done and encourages me to strengthen it or it shows me areas that need more personal work. It's a never ending cycle, perhaps a spiral, in the direction of my liberation from suffering and towards my meaning in life, which for me includes a strong piece of helping others.