Several years ago during an episode of the hit show “Ally McBeal”, Ally is running through a litany of problems she is having and extolling the severity of each problem. Her colleague looks at her and asks, “What makes you think that your problems are more important than my problems?” Ally looks her colleague straight in the eye and says, “Because they are MY problems!”
This sort of parochial view of our world is what often leads to double standards and having double standards, while being uniquely human, leads to all sorts of problems. Everyone openly admits that insurance fraud is wrong and leads to a global inflation of rates, yet at the same time doesn’t everyone ask the local auto repair shop to find a way to “cover my deductible”. People think that our country is too litigious until they slip in WalMart.
Double standards exist in the world of addiction as well. We judge people who are ticketed for DUI as evil,careless, and reckless individuals. yet at the same time we have all driven under the influence. We have all at some point in our lives gotten behind the wheel when we should have called a cab. What is the difference between us and those who have a DUI on their record? Luck. Obviously that is not true for someone who just got their third DUI. They are evil, careless, and reckless.
How about how we treat those who are famous when they fall under the spell of addiction or alcohol. Some how this seems to only serve as boost to their celebrity while the rest of us are demonized for our behavior.
Perhaps the simplest solution is simply to “do unto others…. It is perhaps too simplistic and even a bit naive to a assume that one would step back from a situation and say “what if?” before they judge. If they could the world would a different place. More tolerance. More patience. More understanding.