Strength in numbers

On his show today, Rush Limbaugh announced that he had become addicted to prescription painkillers that he had been using to fight the pain associated with spinal problems that an operation several years ago had failed to correct. Without going into any details – he has been asked not to say much about the ongoing investigation – he said that the news reports contain some truths and some distortions.
As I am typing this, he is checking himself into a rehabilitation clinic for 30 days. Rush commented on how celebrities are called “heroic” and “role models” for seeking such treatment for drug dependency. As written in his official statement:
I am not making any excuses. You know, over the years athletes and celebrities have emerged from treatment centers to great fanfare and praise for conquering great demons. They are said to be great role models and examples for others. Well, I am no role model. I refuse to let anyone think I am doing something great here, when there are people you never hear about, who face long odds and never resort to such escapes [through drugs].
They [who do not seek escape through drugs] are the role models. I am no victim and do not portray myself as such. I take full responsibility for my problem.
One can find lessons in this regarding the dangers of addictive drugs, the need to take responsibility for one’s failures, and the potential for combating (licit or illicit) drug addiction that exists in the private but not the public sector. But I will hit on another: there are some issues that should not be addressed alone.


Sure, one should be able to count on having others around for moral support during challenges. But I’m referring to something different: enlisting the talent of others to directly assist in handling the issue. Rush tried to tackle the drug problem through the strength of his own will and through a couple of half-hearted stabs at clinical treatment. Most people do not have the wherewithal to beat that sort of chemical addiction without relying on assistance from professionals who specialize in treating chemical dependency.
What other issues should be addressed in numbers? Let’s start with another topic completely removed from this lifelong bachelor’s direct experience: marriage. It takes two to get married, but more than that to keep the marriage healthy. The couple needs other couples, to serve as role models and to provide accountability.
Ideally, each spouse will have happily-married nondysfunctional parents from whom they have learned good spousing and good parenting skills and attitudes, but a lot of people don’t have that luxury and need to look elsewhere. At least some of the other couples are older more experienced couples. Those others will be needed for diplomatic intervention during crises, especially if one or both spouses are sufficiently immature that such problems trigger a divorce.
Another arena that should not be entered by Lone Rangers is job hunting. Sure, you fill out the applications and go to the interviews, but there’s more to it than just that. The obvious group activity that comes to mind is networking. But there’s two other factors that often get the short shrift: discovery of one’s talents and career selection. The cloning factories public schools do virtually nothing in this regard, and quite cruelly regard career preparation as something one begins at the onset of, rather than in anticipation of, adulthood.
People can discover their talents on their own, but it helps to receive confirmation from friends who know them well enough. The book Now, Discover Your Strengths is an excellent resource for that task. Knowing what one can do and knowing where (or if) those talents can be applied in the marketplace are two separate issues. One can learn about various positions through personal research, but no volume of research beats actually knowing people in those positions.
What other examples can y’all come up with?

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