October 12, 2014

KerPlunk-ing Through Life.

Photo: Jiposhy.com via Flickr

Come on, we’ve all played the straw-and-marbles game KerPlunk—right?

You know, the one where you take turns (gingerly) removing your straw from the lattice while trying to avoid an avalanche of marbles falling into your tray below! Good clean fun—laughter, skill and knife-edge suspense.

A movie I watched the other night, Thanks for Sharing, starring Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins and Gwyneth Paltrow, reminded me of KerPlunk: the triggers, fragility, and pitfall potentials that constitute the daily life of the sex addict—or any addict for that matter.

Living on the razor sharp knife-edge of addiction is no bowl of cherries.

I know many who have and do; and I don’t think any of us are clinically clean of this human affliction. And that makes me wonder: Why?

About 10 years ago I landed late one night in New York City—my first visit to the Big Apple! A friend picked me up at the airport. He was so keen to show me the nightlife of the “city that doesn’t sleep” that we went straight to Times Square. Holy shit! Talk about sensory overload.

Man, that city really doesn’t let you sleep or (even contemplate sleep). It’s just open for business 24/7!

At one point in Thanks for Sharing, Tim Robbins, the Sex Addicts Anonymous group leader wryly comments, “Is it just me or is Manhattan just one big catwalk?”

Meaning, for him and all sex addicts, just stepping out the door is to be exposed to the addictive triggers they least need in their lives.

It seems to me that we live in a society that is saturated in addiction and addictive stimulators that are, literally, killing us.

I have a seven-year-old daughter. She’s beautiful, smart, artistic, and sensitively curious about “the big world out there”. She’s also, like all kids her age, extremely impressionable.

So here’s the thing: I don’t believe in over-sexualizing our kids from a very young age.

I don’t want to see my daughter imitating the on-stage attire or sexual antics of Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus.

I don’t want to see her seduced by—or fueling—the over-sexualized culture we’re all (whether we like it or not) a part of.

But other kids her age are already there and we’re grooming our kids for many other cultural addictions from food to gaming to technology. So, what the heck?

Pause moment:

A clinical psychologist friend of mine assures me that addiction, as a general definition, is an overbalanced preoccupation with ideas or actions that lead to disharmony or dysfunction within the “system”.

The problem is that the system is fractal, and like mycelial fungi growing in the earth, moves insidiously throughout the entire human enterprise (individual, communal, global). Even nature is not immune from addiction: think of the male spider who sacrifices his life in order to mate—he’s literally dying to get laid!

Alarm moment:

We need to stop the rot. Our fascination with—or fixation on—everything from sex, food and alcohol to power, prestige and status symbols, is debilitating the life-force within us and, by association, the life-force and wellbeing of every relationship we have: with ourselves, our partner, our family, our work, our community and our planet.

It can lead to extreme narcissism, social alienation and warmongering.

This perpetuation of cultural addiction not only depletes our energy levels and wellbeing, it ultimately dishonors and grotesquely obscures the divine within.

Let’s pull it back, folks.

Don’t be a hapless “KerPlunker” stumbling through life on the knife-edge of another avalanche or disaster.

We’re better and stronger than that.

And our kids deserve it.




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Apprentice Editor: Kim Haas / Editor: Emma Ruffin

Photo: Jiposhy.com via Flickr


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