There once was a boy who came from a very large family. This family was special. They enjoyed each other’s company. It seemed like there was never any judgment of anyone based on the way each individual wanted to live his or her own lives. In their collective minds they thought they valued each other’s opinion and let each person live according to the dictates of their own conscience. They liked being around each other, so they threw parties for themselves. They would sing, dance, mingle and drink wine together and even had a place in the backyard for members of the family to smoke cigars, if they wanted to.
This family respected each other because of the way they valued some hidden knowledge that they possessed. This hidden knowledge kept them tight-knit. They took pride in a secret they held that taught them how to drink wine and smoke cigars in a way that they could control, thus avoiding any form of dependence upon those two substances. They had the secret to addiction: How to prevent it, arrest it and reverse it permanently. This is what made them feel special, so they kept the details hidden from those suffering with addiction because then they could charge them money in exchange for the information. This added to their feeling of being special.
When the boy grew to maturity, even though he loved his family, he intentionally exposed himself to other views and ways of life just so he would not consider himself so narrow-minded as to think that his family’s ways were the only and best ways. He kept the secret inside of him though and it made him feel special and elect. At the same time, he desired to learn about other people’s lifestyles. He found many other families who were also happy in their own way. After making this observation, he naturally opened his mind to the idea that perhaps he would find something that would be a more excellent way for him than the way of life in which he had been raised. However, deep inside he didn’t really believe that he would find a more excellent way, but because of the happiness in others that he saw, he was open to the idea that maybe there was a better way. Eventually and to his astonishment, he actually did find a more excellent way of life that worked better for him. It was the result of being open to new ideas and reading the words of a book.
The book was profound to him. It changed his mind about everything. He did not understand how the book had so much power over him, but it made total sense to him. He felt inside his mind and heart that the book made him a better person, so he embraced its teachings and began living his life according to the principles that he read in the book. But the book exposed his family's secret to the world. He felt badly about the way the book had the potential to hurt his family’s livelihood, but he knew the information in it was true. It made the solution to addiction free with no charge to anyone who was willing to read it. The book not only offered the secret of addiction for free, but it revealed the truthfulness of all things, that is, it told the real truth of human reality, who we are and why we exist. It revealed the knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come. The book had the ability, if the reader adhered to the book’s principles, to heal anyone of anything that ailed them, including emotional and mental problems, all for free to the masses.
This hidden knowledge being made free to anyone whom was searching with a sincere heart, with real intent and to anyone whom would read the book created a problem for his family. It totally undermined their craft, which, in turn took away the emotional value they received from the money they received in exchange for the secret. But, the boy had grown into adulthood now and lived far away from the land of his youth, so the influence of his family was not felt by him directly on a daily basis, like it was when he was being raised in that sort of environment, so he willingly accepted this new belief that the truth about the solution to addiction should be made free to all who was sincerely searching for it. As an outward manifestation of his inward commitment to his newfound perspective, he decided he would stop drinking and smoking, because a portion deep in the book, on an obscure page, taught that drinking and smoking were harmful to the human body and he wanted to be true to himself by living according to the things he learned.
Many years went by. His family was scattered across the country, each family member pursuing their own form of happiness. Then one day some siblings decided it would be great if they could all get together again and have a reunion where they could all reminisce and enjoy each other’s company. They all had such good memories growing up together that it made sense to throw a big party and invite each member of the family, including their spouses and all of their kids and their parents. At length, all the details and logistics were figured out, but they discovered that accommodation expenses were challenging for most of them, so one of the siblings, whom had made a tremendous amount of money over a couple of decades, stepped up and covered the cost of the accommodations for everybody and their families.
When everybody arrived and the party started, it was just like they had all remembered. It was perfect. The one who had paid for all the accommodations also paid for and prepared a large dance hall, which was adjacent to the building that housed everyone’s rooms, where everyone could sing, dance, mingle and socialize. Because of that sibling's generosity, drinks and smokes were on the house, so they were all drinking wine together and they even had a place in the back for members of the family who wanted to smoke a nice cigar. But the boy, whom was now a man and whom had read the book, was not comfortable. It had been years since he had smoked tobacco or drank alcohol. He didn’t know what to do.
There was a huge amount of pressure placed upon him to drink some wine with everybody, but he could not turn his back on what he knew in his heart had contributed to him becoming a better, happier and healthier person, so he refrained. This only increased the amount of peer pressure he felt from his siblings and the other adults whom had married into the family. They said to him, “C’mon man! We’re celebrating! Mom & dad are here. Let loose. Do it to honor them. Besides this place cost your sibling a lot of money. You don’t want to waste that, do you? We are all going to discuss the secret later. It will be fun!” But he wouldn’t do it, so with a broken heart he left with his date and cried.
Later, after the party was over, he was embarrassed but still returned to the gathering of his family because he had nowhere else to stay because he didn't have enough money to stay somewhere else. Everyone was cleaning up and chatting. Things had changed for him now though. He felt rejected, even though he was the one who left the party. It was sad. He still loved his family dearly, but he wasn’t going to drink or smoke with them anymore, like they wanted him to, and he certainly didn’t want to discuss the secret with anyone there, unless they wanted to discuss how to make it available for free for everyone. He hadn’t smoked or drank for years and he was committed to the idea that not only the solution to addiction should be free, but, even more important than that, all humans were and are equal and each human, regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, socioeconomic status, religion or education level, were entitle to receive the truthfulness of all things for free as well.
He saw the pride his family currently had and realized their pride had been there for generations because of their possession of the secret. It hurt him and he was remorseful that earlier in life he had sinned against humanity and participated in something that brought inequality to all mankind.
His family now knew he wasn’t going to drink or smoke with them anymore, but they couldn’t change the nature of their future parties just for him and it didn’t make any sense to them that the secret should be available to the world for free. According to their understanding, part of the fun for them was loosening up and drinking and smoking together and they sincerely thought they were doing a service to the world by providing the solution to addiction for a small fee. For him, he enjoyed his good health, so it was the opposite and he felt strongly that the secret should be free, but his family members had no idea what he was describing or talking about when he would answer their questions as to why he wouldn’t drink or smoke with them anymore, plus they vehemently rejected the notion that the secret should be free, so the basis of the conversations his family members had with him were not centered on health and wellness as it pertains to alcohol and tobacco consumption or about the fact that the secret to addiction should be free, but focused more on superficial things like sports, the weather or current events.
The boy was an educated man. He had become an expert in the science about alcohol and tobacco usage and its effects on the human body. He could quote from the book and could cite scientific studies about the deleterious effects that drinking and smoking had on the human body, but they didn’t care. To them drinking and smoking together was a bonding experience that strengthened their ties and made them happy, but he refused to participate in it anymore, so they thought he was being proud and rude and talked behind his back about how ungrateful he was for coming to the reunion without being willing to drink and smoke with them. They reminded him of all the good times they had when he was younger and how many times they had loved and supported him when times were tough. They didn’t like what he now believed and how he now lived his life. It seemed like they felt threatened by his newfound peace and happiness, because they couldn’t understand how someone could possibly be happy without drinking and smoking and not desire to get gain by exchanging the secret with suffering addicts for a fair price. They wanted to reclaim him, but were powerless to do so because he had read the book and was an educated man and knew more than they did about the subject, so they had to be content in saying that maybe he had lost his mind, that he had become an angry person and was misguided, even though they would publicly deny that they thought those things about him. They blamed it on the book.
He hadn't lost his mind and he wasn’t trying to be rude or angry, nor was he trying to convert them to his lifestyle, but they were trying to change him back to what he was. He was trying to be true to himself, but he had to move forward, so he wrote each of them a brief letter explaining his point of view. In explaining his views, he referred to his beliefs that identified drinking and smoking as unhealthy and harmful and that the pride they had in the secret was not worthy of enlightened humans, but of course it came across as arrogant, as if he was a know-it-all, so the backlash from his siblings was quick and severe. Once again, he didn’t know what to do with regard to his family, so he turned inward where he had learned from the book that all peace and happiness reside and to his friends who accepted him more than his family did. His friends would not pressure him to drink and smoke and were of one heart and one mind. They saw eye to eye when it came to their commitment to making the world a better place by practicing equality toward all people.