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Corruption – it's worse than you think

With recent events in our community, it appears that there is growing attention to the corruption that surrounds us. But what is corruption?

Some people say that corruption is secretly giving money to others, or to some extent, downloading MP3s. However, this is merely a symptom of a deeper problem. Corruption begins internally with selfishness. Corruption is anytime a person is envious, lazy, vain, cruel, greedy or stubborn-minded. This may be a bit difficult to understand, so I offer you this illustration.

Human beings have a skill or talent that they are born with. If a person is able to discover their skill or talent they are likely to live a fulfilling and happy life. However, it is very difficult for a person to discover this as many people are told from childhood that they are to pursue a life path that will lead to success, money or fame. Your mind is conditioned by your parents or by the society in which you live to pursue outside sources of gratification and your own unique talent or skill which would provide you with an internal source of gratification, is destroyed by this pressure. That is corruption.

As we grow into the society that was made for us, most people do not think about corruption because we busy ourselves with work or school. We simply don't have time to worry about it. Some of us however, begin to recognize corruption and many who do resign themselves to the idea that corruption is everywhere and become cynical. Those of us who want to live without corruption are frightened about living that kind of life while people around us continue to be corrupt.

Ask yourself, “If I had a roof over my head, food in my mouth, and money was not an issue, what would I do to contribute to humanity?” If your answer is anything other than what you are currently doing or working toward, you may have been corrupted.

How might you go about living without corruption if you are interested in doing such a thing? First, notice the corruption around you, and then recognize it as a dangerous thing. What would you do if you saw a loud person in the street waving a gun? You'd run the other way, right? Pretend that corruption is just as dangerous.

When you take or give what is not yours – that is corruption.

When you do something with your life that is driven by external sources of gratification – that is corruption.

When you see a fitness magazine and think “I want six-pack abs” – that is corruption.

When you feel that you are better than someone else – that is corruption.

When you are full of pride – that is corruption.

Life can be much more peaceful if you are able to keep an open mind and recognize that you need not have the best of everything or be the best human being. But if your driving force in life is money, power, fame or any similar kind of thing that really doesn't matter in the end, then you are living a corrupt life.

If you want to be corrupt, then do it. Notice that you are corrupt and see what happens. Just don't get lost if you decide at some point to explore other options.

Stephen Brewer, M.A. is a registered psychological assistant (PSB33858) in Mira Mesa and is supervised by Angela Spenser, PhD (PSY15450). He runs a LGBT and Kink friendly practice, specializing in addictions, trauma, HIV/AIDS, and men’s issues. He can be reached at 619.377.3120.