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Drug Trade Accounts for Forty Percent of the Afghan Economy

The voice on the radio suddenly forced its way into my conscious awareness. Absolutely staggering, I felt it deep in my gut with no uncertainty. Forty Percent of the Afghan economy is from illegal drug production and trafficking. More disturbing is the fact that the United States has nothing that can replace the drug trade for Afghan entrepreneurs. As I contemplated these hard hitting statements, I found myself imagining how different our world could be if we just stuck to some basic tenants of common decency. Yet, what does this say about our world, where such an obscene industry can thrive? It's not just the growers and traffickers that are contributing to the problems, but the users of the end product.

Those users ultimately feed the entire industry's cash flow. Considering the Afghan drug problems alongside illicit drug trade around the world, there has to be an incredible amount of drug users to support the global market for drugs. Why? Is it really about the high, or is it about escaping the sober realities and pain of human life? It seems that we never hear anyone talking about this aspect. Life is often painful. Whether you are poor or rich, there are all kinds of problems and challenges that we human beings face.

How appealing a drug addiction and the escape it provides must be to the user. In some ways, it may even be understandable. Facing life and its challenges head on is NOT for the timid. But, we are all faced with life nonetheless and there is no escaping that for the rational and sober minded person. Sure there are moments of pleasure that provide temporary relief but how long do those moments last? How long before the next problem rears up to block our path arrives? For some, the moments of pleasure and happiness last longer and not so long for others. That may be related to a whole host of factors including socio-economic ones. So what can we do? Not much as it turns out, for a simple reason. It is a fact of our very existence that free will exists. Each person makes his own choices. More laws won't change what people do when they think that they can't be seen.

Perhaps a greater degree of personal happiness and contentment would prove to be more attractive than the lure of drug use. As you may have heard, "history tends to repeat itself". And why is that? Maybe the human condition doesn't really change that much, only the scenery and technology change, while the basic conditions of human life stay about the same throughout the ages. If that is true, and similar conditions existed in the past, how were they dealt with back then? One of the western world's most revered philosophers was Socrates. Socrates talked about virtue. He discussed things like Truth, Beauty and Goodness with his students. Today, Master Li Hongzhi expounds on Truthfulness, Compassion and Endurance. Perhaps contemplation of these things can bring greater contentment and personal happiness? With happiness and contentment, there may no longer be as strong a catalyst for feeding a drug addiction. One thing is fairly certain. Due to the existence of free will, only each individual can choose for himself the path he wishes to tread.

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