A question from a reader of my book: Glen, I have occasionally seen you write that you are “no better, more important, or deserving than a drunk in the gutter.” You state that you in “no way mean this in a self-deprecating fashion.” What do you mean by this, and how can you say it? Do you believe this about everyone?
Response: I say this because I believe it to be the truth. And no, it isn’t in the least bit “self-deprecating.” And I will not speak for anyone else – how dare I if I did.
Humbly and respectfully, I say it in a loving, empathetic, and in what I hope/have faith is, an altruistic spirit. In my discussions/interactions with others, it is to be clear that I wish to be able to put myself in the ‘shoes’ of others, so that they (honestly) see that there needs not be any unhealthful spirit of one-upmanship or an us-against-them gang mentality…no competition, just understanding and healthful benevolence and empathy (and most certainly also, not sympathy). In my book I often speak of a central feature within its broad ages-old philosophy, i.e., the Same Boat Theory. Among the most basic premises thereof, it sets forth that we are (so VERY much) more in the ‘same (common) boat’ than we so often think and act. This loving outlook is among many truly healthful reasons for which to realize DEEPLY altruistic true empathy.
It may be all about the right thing for the right sake…without selfish recognition or hidden agendas – I hope so. It may be all about True Honesty, promoting of True Happiness and True Freedom…but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind – I so very much hope so.
I may not be “in the gutter” at the moment – and I hope I exercise the True Strength and True Effort to never be. Albeit, nothing is certain on this Earth – other than that we already have all of the necessary quintessential blessings through which to exercise and embrace our ability to keep trying and trying and trying to lovingly face and embrace change, each moment – each day. AND hopefully we will do so in a deeply benevolent spirit of True Appreciation and less and less blemished insight: To be clear, this is the living embodiment of a True Love, inclusive of, yet so much more than just familial, friendship, and romantic love. It is inclusive of a sparkling spine-tingling True Forgiveness…a ‘glimpse’ of Heaven. — Dr. Glen Hepker
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