Finding Humanity

Our character and actions are forever subject to shifting, ambiguous influences.  Subtle, violent, benign, belligerent, facilitative, oppressive, fleeting, persistent.  Unanticipated forces arise from beyond and within.

For over twenty-two years the Marine Corps had been my archer.  Honor, courage and commitment were my powerfully-strung bow.  I was the perfect arrow - trained, ready, taut, deadly, aimed precisely; always reaching my mark with unerring accuracy.  Excelling in leadership, management and performance, thriving in a brotherhood of acceptance and validation.

In Washington, Constance was the love of my life.  She a government contractor; I a senior Marine.  Strong mutual work pressures impacted our lives.  My slow-to-heal scars of Vietnam, recent divorce, abuse of alcohol, and increasing possessiveness rendered our relationship unsustainable.  She drifted away with kind, parting words: "You’re not who I thought you were.”

I slipped into a pit of utter hopelessness and despair, free-falling ever downward, beyond the absolute depths of misery into the dark isolation of depression.  I contemplated and rationalized suicide. While desperately looking deep within, the source of my difficulties became clear: my inhuman, all-consuming self-centeredness.  If many others in our world were suffering, what right had I to self-pity?  Could I act to assist and support them?  I had at last found true meaning, purpose and direction.
My investment in humanity has been a path to healing.  Alleviation of the suffering of others is my source of health, peace, truth and fulfillment.  My efforts to secure their rights and well-being have become a thirty-year endeavor in progress. 

With clarity and a sharpening sense of reality I grow toward the light of each promising dawn.  My branches are spread wide, in hope of a brilliant sunrise.  Each day I gain wisdom, strength, and deeper compassion.  Each day I contribute to a better world.

 -William Walsh   6/14/2013