(A) Disclaimers

Why, historically, have books been considered dangerous? … Why, in dystopian literature, are books often outlawed in future civilizations?? … Why, in heaven’s sake, would people ever be scared of a book??? ….

How powerful can a book be?  Has a book ever changed your life??  Can you think of one that has changed the direction of humanity as a whole???

A good book can be like Pandora’s Box:  Are you ready to see what’s inside that box?

Now know this-I am not a fool (not completely).  I understand that saying such things might turn you off before we even get a chance to begin.  For that reason, I have decided to lube you up a little with a poem first-I’ve been told it helps:

This poem is titled “The Never-Ending Story;”

It has been created to ease your worry.

For a new Class is now in session.

A course created by obsession.

Click by click, bullets are fired into the future.

Questions you will have, that’s for sure.

As you proceed,

Understand that the lessons you read,

Simply create a story WE need.

Just one teacher’s attempt to diverge,

So that a new hope may emerge.

A leap of faith that we all can grow,

In a belief that we are more alike than you know.

Scroll to discover that anything is possible.

If only WE become responsible.

Just remember that to read, 

Patience you will need, 

As this teacher plants a seed.

For what you are about to begin is a story that starts at the end;

Presenting a battle of the mind that requires a sense of humor and wonder to comprehend.

Well, with that out of the way let us begin, shall we?

“We are now perched on a strange cusp of history.  A time when the world feels like it’s been turned upside down and nothing is quit as we imagined.  But uncertainty is always a precursor to sweeping change.  Transformation is always preceded by upheaval and fear.  I urge you to place your faith in the human capacity of creativity and love.  Because these two forces, when combined, poses the power to illuminate any darkness.”

It would be wonderful if a leader appeared in our world, spoke these words, and magically saved us all from the misery that is difficult for many to see past today.  Unfortunately, we do not live in the movies.  And there is no Tony Stark armed with billions of dollars, the intelligence, and the sexiness to persuade people of this world to follow him into battle.  Instead, this quote was taken from a novel by Dan Brown titled “Origin.”  I chose to use it here because I want to believe it applies to our world and is not simply some random words strung together to make a story, and character in it, more compelling.  

In preparing this class, there were many things I wanted you to know before we began.  I created a list of “Disclaimers” that I thought readers, you, should know about me.  Understanding that the words I would share may be misinterpreted, I continually modified what and how I planned to say these things.  This happened to me over and over.  Unfortunately, I became so scared of offending someone that my message began to feel suffocated.  I jokingly began referring to this as the disclaimer dilemma.   This list quickly got out of hand and I begrudgingly accepted that it would ruin the flow of our story-so I scrapped it…mostly.   

Writing is a scary endeavor.  As the author here one thing that continually terrified me was the thought that my voice would get misconstrued as those of the characters you will be meeting shortly.  So, I have decided to speak to you personally for a moment and limit my disclaimers to only three:

I accepted the job of writing this because I was convinced by a good friend that we are all in recovery from something.  This is such a cliché term that many reading it will be offended.  Which brings me to disclaimer number one: The world has become super-sensitive to words.  For that reason, we may lose some of you along this journey-my hope is that you will eventually come back (we will leave a light on for you).  

Disclaimer number two:  Everyone should have a G.U.N.–In such tumultuous times it is the only thing that will keep you sane.  

And now, for my third and final disclaimer.  One that I know better than to say right now but one that must be said.  Are you ready?  Before I say this, I need you to know that it’s going to be okay.  Do you trust me?  

Well, here it is, disclaimer number three: I love Donald Trump.  Yes.  Him.

Whether this statement tickles your pickle or makes you want to punch me through the page, it is important that you let me explain myself first. 

Ask anyone that has stood beside someone struggling with an addiction to substances whether or not loving and supporting someone suffering from this affliction is the same thing.  It is not.  We want the best for the person we love-even when we disagree with their actions so badly that it often destroys us.  We in no way support the behavior that is causing the world to crumble around them.  We are often helpless however, so all we can do is love them and hope that they will one day see the light and come back to us.  Then, if we are willing, we can support that person if we have the strength left in us to do so. 

The premise of the story I am about to tell, this course, should not be a secret:  The world has changed so drastically-over whatever timespan you choose to look at-that we are all in recovery…from something.  Yes, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US.  And like a fingerprint, what we are recovering from is unique for each and every person.  For Donald Trump, let us say that it is his wealth, fame, and success that he is trying to recover from.  (Do not laugh-though many of us cannot imagine it, dealing with these things present challenges that manipulate the ways in which we interpret reality). 

The 2016 election of Donald Trump reminded everyone on this planet that anything is possible.  For that I am grateful and can say “I love him.”  Do I support him?  Heck no.  Sorry.  If this means I have lost you, I apologize…but remember, I’m just the author and this is not my story. 

Which brings me to the last thing I want to get off of my chest before we begin.  

It is said the author is the hero of all of the stories they tell.  I remember hearing this once and it has stuck with me.   So, if by chance this story is a success, I need one thing to be made perfectly clear:  I, your author, am not the hero.  Simply put, I am just another A-hole on this journey we call “life”. 

Alrighty then, with all of that out of the way let us begin by setting the stage…

(Click here to continue to next chapter of the journey)

Music for Transcending Minds:  

“…time is ticking.’”

– Bombs Away by B.o.B. (featuring Morgan Freeman)

Follow Us On FaceBook: @SocialRecovery101
Read our story at: RecoveryHighSchool.com

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