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Rev. Tim Bauer, Moorhead, Published February 10 2014

Letter: Neither is solitary journey in life

The recent death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman attributed to a drug overdose brought to mind the phrase: “It takes a village to raise a child.” However, in this context, it could be changed to state: “It takes a village to sustain recovery.”

Both addiction and recovery are not solitary journeys in life. Experience indicates that both are community processes in that socialization is involved. In looking at the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, the pronouns used are plural not singular. Thus, the awareness and support of a community enhances the daily recovery from addiction.

In the book of Hebrew wisdom titled Ecclesiastes, it reads in the fourth chapter, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other. But woe to the one who is alone and falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

There is strength in community. This strength in the form of commitment, compassion and honesty can sustain life, especially as we live in the reality of addiction and recovery. As we live together sharing the grace and strength of a higher power, we can nurture human dignity and human life. It takes a village, which means it takes us.