Liam Neeson’s Humble Honesty And Why People Continue To Remain Dishonest In This World…

Liam Neeson, a movie actor best known for his roles in Schindler’s List and Taken, seems to have caused quite a stir with much of the public this week when he honestly and quite humbly disclosed something that he did well over 40 years ago now, leading people to believe he’s a racist.

During a press interview for his new movie Cold Pursuit, Neeson openly admitted a childhood story that surrounded one of his closest friends getting brutally raped by a black man. He said he was so angry when he learned of it that he went into a fit of rage by walking up and down primarily black neighborhoods with a metal bar in hand looking to kill any “black bastard” who crossed his path, and that he would have reacted the same towards whatever the race of the culprit had been. He also admitted how grateful he was that nothing came of it and how wrong his actions were as well. He told the interviewer that he sought help from a priest and several of his friends to let it go soon afterwards.

From a spiritual perspective, how I view this whole thing is vastly different than how the masses seem to be taking it. While the public continues to outcry “Racist!”, I see a man who’s being very much humble, admitting to a flawed moment from years ago, one he regrets, yet one he wanted to get fully honest with.

One may wonder why Neeson even shared this story at all to someone from the media, given how much the media likes to look for the juiciest of gossip and then smear it all over the news. I’m sure it arose solely because the plot of his new movie surrounds him as a good-natured snowplow driver who suddenly seeks revenge when his beloved son is killed due to a psychotic drug lord. Regardless, I’m actually saddened at this public lynching of Neeson that appears to be taking place now all because of his honest disclosure of an incident that took place some 40 years ago.

If you’ve ever asked the question why people continue to remain dishonest in this world?

This is why!

Because honesty only continues to cause tons of people to point the finger at someone else’s actions, rather than point those fingers back at themselves.

Have you ever done something in your life you aren’t proud of, that could have or actually did hurt another?

Have you ever gone into a fit of rage and thought about killing someone before you ultimately came to your senses?

Have you ever said something that was potentially racist and regretted it?

It’s a good thing I’m not famous and am pretty much a nobody in this world, because the press would have a field day with me. My former life is filled with far too many of these incidents that could be smeared with a vast number of judgments and labels placed upon me.

But I continue to remain honest in every way possible, because I’m not perfect and have made a lot of mistakes in my life that I regret. And I find it freeing to show my own flaws and imperfections rather than hide them. That’s why I applaud Neeson for getting honest with his interviewer and why I don’t view Neeson as a racist whatsoever over something he said and did some four decades ago. I don’t believe he should be judged for it either and I’m frustrated with this world for continuing to point the fingers and judge everyone else for their mistakes, instead of taking a hard look in the mirror.

Sadly, the mass negative reaction to Neeson’s honesty is precisely why people in general are so afraid to tell the truth. Because as soon as they do, it’s almost as if the darkness on this planet quickly jumps all over them, rather than surrounding them with unconditional love, light, and forgiveness. Hopefully one day, more people will become like Neeson, someone who decided in a humble moment to get honest about their flawed past.

So, if you are someone who’s going to keep casting stones out there, remember as you do, that for every one you throw, there’s probably a number of them that can be thrown back at you as wellAnd maybe you need to get honest with yourself instead, like Liam Neeson…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

“Ben Is Back”, Another Heart-Aching, Yet Very Realistic Movie About Drug Addiction

I caught a film back in November titled “Beautiful Boy” that was about the sad demise of a teenage drug addict and the agony his father went through attempting to save his kid from a deadly addiction. Now, two months later, another film has been released, “Ben Is Back”, that is quite similar in subject but deals with an extremely distraught mother instead.

Starring Julia Roberts as Holly Burns, the movie revolves around the sudden return on Christmas Eve of her teenage boy Ben (Lucas Hedges) from a 77-day stint at sober living. While “Beautiful Boy” chronicles a far greater time period and shows a kid’s slow descent into drug addiction, “Ben Is Back” covers only a 24-hour period, yet it feels like it covers an eternity, especially when viewed from Holly’s perspective. It’s obvious the whole family is on edge when Ben abruptly returns, all except for his youngest niece and nephew who couldn’t be gladder he was back. His sister Ivy (Kathryn Newton) on the other hand seems quite upset about him being there, as does his stepfather Neal (Courtney B. Vance). While we aren’t shown the exact reasons why, it’s made overly apparent that Ben has ruined each of the prior Christmas’s because of his drug addiction and that no one trusts him. After Neal agrees Ben can stay for a day to share the holiday with his family, Holly sets down some serious ground rules that Ben must abide by, of which he agrees. While Ben does his best to proclaim how much healthier he is and how he doesn’t ever want to go back to drugs, it doesn’t take very long for the temptations of it to return. As Holly desperately tries to keep it together and cling to control of her son from relapsing, the plight of her teenage drug addict son quickly becomes all too real once again.

Because I was closer to my mother and sister, rather than my father, I related far more to “Ben Is Back” than “Beautiful Boy”. During my addiction-laden years, I saw the very same sadness and trust issues that my addictions caused in them. My mother never did get to see me as a fully sober individual, but thankfully my sister has and years later, we’ve been able to mend our relationship and grown much closer.

Nevertheless, “Ben Is Back” moved me incredibly and reminded me once again of all those addictive periods in my life where I too made promises just like Ben but never kept to them, where I said all the right things, yet still tore the curtains down, and where I had such potential but never quite reached it. That’s why it was utterly heart-wrenching for me to watch Holly try to control her son’s disease. Like “Beautiful Boy” demonstrated just as well, there is no controlling ANYONE’S addiction. Parents, family members, and other loved ones often try anyway though and in turn, shell out huge amounts of time, energy, and money in an attempt to rid the disease from the person they love.


No matter what the addiction is, the only person who can end it is the addict themselves. They must find the desire from deep within to be rid of it and that tends to usually come by connecting to a Higher Power in one of their bleakest moments. No matter how many attempts my mother or sister, or anyone else for that matter, made to help free me from any of my addictions, I kept falling back into them time after time. It wasn’t until I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired from my addictions did I ever make the change. It wasn’t until I had lost pretty much everything that meant something to me did I ever make the change. Thankfully, both “Beautiful Boy” and “Ben Is Back” portrayed that reality oh so well.

Sadly, Ben Is Back doesn’t get into the 12-Step programs out there that support people like Holly, Ivy, or Neal, people who have become seriously codependent and addicted in their own way with their constant attempts to remove a loved one’s addiction. CODA, Al-Anon, ACA, and a number of others all exist for this reason. Hopefully, if you’re someone who’s struggling with an addict that you love dearly, you’ll consider checking out one of these programs and also watch both “Beautiful Boy” and “Ben Is Back”, as doing so, you’ll get the truest picture of what your reality really is with any addict.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

A Spiritual Perspective On That Wolverine And Buckeyes Rivalry…

Since moving to Ohio almost five years ago now, I quickly became aware of a huge rivalry between Michigan and Ohio. For those who are from this neck of the woods, know that I’m NOT speaking of the one that often plays itself out on the roads here between drivers from opposing states. Rather, I’m speaking specifically to the one between the Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes football teams.

Every year since first coming to this area, I’ve witnessed the constant bashing, taunting, and bragging those goes on around here from far too many. It seems to come up constantly in conversations all around me. It’s also on plenty of social media postings as well. And by the time the annual big game between the two arrives on the weekend after Thanksgiving, the trash talk has usually reached its peak. That is, until one of the two teams become the victor, leaving the other to bear the load of a ton of shaming comments. Frankly, I’m not a fan of any of this, as I feel there’s too much negative energy that comes out of it.

The reality is that I don’t participate in this rivalry because of this. I do my best to avoid any of those rivalry conversations that take place and I tend to avoid even watching any part of that big game when it’s on. While my partner did which a short bit of it this year, I opted to not tune in because honestly, I have far more difficult things going on in my life right now that causing me great stress. Choosing to really support one of these teams is only going to cause me get more stressed out and generate even greater pain within me. That why when this past year’s game took place down in Columbus where Ohio State ended up winning by a landslide, it didn’t affect my energy one bit. I can’t say the same was true though for a number of Wolverine’s fans I know, as I’m sure would have been true if the game had gone the other way.

Regardless, I know that watching sports and being a fan of any team is simply a pastime for many and often a tradition that’s passed down in their families. Yet, it wasn’t a tradition in mine, as hardly anyone ever watched any type of sports with any regularity on our television when I was growing up. On and off over the years though, I eventually did become a fan of several teams from different sports, except I constantly found my energy experiencing a roller coaster of emotions because of it. When my team was winning, I always got tons of temporary highs. But when my team was losing, I had the tendency to get temporarily depressed. Ultimately, when my health began to decline years ago, I found myself not wanting to experience any of that energy yo-yo anymore. That’s because it became just too stressful on my whole energy system every time I engaged in it.

It became too stressful on my mind and body to see the team I supported lose and even more stressful to endure all that bragging, taunting, and bashing that came from those who supported opposing teams. It also became stressful on some level when my team was winning, as I too often resorted to the very same trash-talking, which never made me feel very good inside whenever I did that. Thankfully, none of this seems to be in my make-up now and is the very reason why I don’t consider myself a true fan to either of these rival teams.

I’m sure this huge rivalry will probably go on for generations to come in this area and will continue to generate more of that bragging, taunting, bashing, and trash-talking. Many of these team’s fans will probably also keep on posting the things they do on social media, like something I saw not too long ago where one of these team’s mascots was receiving simulated oral sex from the opposing team’s mascot. While it’s not my place to condone this or any other behaviors that often arises out of this rivalry, especially since I once participated in it, I’m just thankful I’m not taking part in it anymore. Whether a team wins or loses really doesn’t matter to me these days. What matters more is just treating people with unconditional love, which for me, includes all people from Ohio and Michigan, and all Wolverine and Buckeyes fans…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson