652: Carl Erik Fisher: The Urge: Our History of Addiction

December 20, 2022 by Joshua
in Podcast

I almost couldn’t believe someone could write a book like Carl Erik Fisher’s The Urge: Our History of Addiction. It tells the histories of addiction in human society since antiquity and of him, addicted, including in medical school, jail, and recovery. I don’t know how many people could have shared such vulnerability or connected his experience to the reader’s so we feel empathy.

Regular listeners and readers of my blog have witnessed my increasing focus on addiction. We live in a culture of addiction. We see it in alcohol, cigarettes, doof, social media, binge TV, gambling, drugs, and so on. We also see it in what pollution brings, I believe: comfort, convenience, and travel, for instance. Medical professionals may not yet recognize these latter addictions in their literature, but it seems clear to me they will.

Solving our environmental problems requires each of billions of people overcoming their addictions. Carl shared some of what recovery takes, and it’s not just talk or plans. It takes listening, empathy, and support, among other things.

You’ll hear me in this episode realize I haven’t yet figured out how to extend compassion to addicted people, the people I want to help most, as there are billions of us and our addicted behavior is lowering Earth’s ability to sustain life.

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