“Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This quote is one of my favorites from Dr. King. As we take time to honor his legacy, and in light of events in our country over the past year, I can’t think of more suitable wisdom to remind us we are much better as individuals and as a country when we get outside of ourselves and help others.

This past week, I lost a friend in a tragic accident and I started looking closely at my own life. I got selfish. I looked at my bank accounts, possessions, and debts and decided I was a complete failure. I got depressed and lost focus of the important things in my life. I forgot about my health, my family, my friends, my work, and all of the things I’m grateful for. I was hateful to my colleagues and not the best doctor I could be for my patients. I had become completely self-absorbed and thus no help to hurting people. I see the same thing on the news every day- one group blaming the other group and spewing hate; no one seems to be listening and everyone seems to be miserable. In other words, we are self-absorbed.

At my low point, I had a close friend point out my mistake- not getting outside of myself. Jim Collins, in his wonderful book Good to Great, said when he has success, he looks out the window (he realizes he is successful because of others), and when he experiences failure, he looks in the mirror (he realizes that he can’t change others, he can only change himself and his attitude). Listening to feedback from a trusted friend, I looked in the mirror. I saw a selfish man, blessed beyond belief, who was no help to anyone. I made a gratitude list, I got outside of myself- I looked to help others and suddenly my whole outlook improved.

At Cedar Recovery, we meet hurting people where they are, no matter what, and we love them unconditionally. I wanted to take a moment to and remind myself and our staff of Dr. King’s quote and challenge all of us to honor his legacy by putting his words into practice.

I love you all!

Steve

Stephen Loyd, MD, Chief Medical Officer

Stephen Loyd, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Cedar Recovery