by Dan Stinson
Les Miserables is a story of grace and redemption. To me, it tells of the power of love to transform a life and the lives of those around them. As I watched the big screen rendition today, I was reminded of the role grace plays for those working in the world of prevention.
Grace, by definition, is when we don’t deserve love, forgiveness or kindness, but we get it anyway. The law and enforcement are necessities. Without them, there are no clear boundaries by which to guide our lives. But as with Javert in Les Mis, if there is no room for grace, an orderly yet dead life is the best we can hope for.
You see, grace offers a powerful freeing force that delivers us from the dead life in which substances are our only comfort. It brings us out into the open to where a greater enjoyment and fulfillment are all around us.
Now you may think me a little philosophical or preachy, but as those who have spent some time on the recovery end of the stick will know, there is something tangible when loving kindness is shown that forms a solid foundation of courage, confidence and self-esteem and makes us more immune to the vises of substances.
So let’s build communities that care. Communities that enforce, but also show genuine compassion and caring to those we serve. In the words of Les Miserables, “To love another person is to see the face of God”.
About the Contributing Blogger
Dan Stinson is the Chairman of One Island, One Team, One Dream, to be Drug free. Located in the town of Grand Island, part of Buffalo, NY, the mission of the coalition is to establish a healthy, drug free school and community. Our immediate goals are to see a marked reduction of alcohol and drug use among students within a two year period and to increase awareness of the problems and their solutions.