Once upon a time there was a leopard. He was crafty and handsome, and he loved the spots on his soft coat. They made him feel better about, well, everything.
One day, after many years of increasing troubles and pain, the leopard had a moment of clarity. "These spots of mine, as much as I've loved having them, have been the cause of so much heartache and grief. My wife hates them. My children hate them. They really haven't been making me feel better for a very long time. I've got to change them!"
So, the leopard found a group of others like him and asked them, "What must I do to relieve this guilt and remorse?!" They told him of a place where he would learn to feel better without relying on his spots, and he realised that he didn't want them anymore. He decided to change his spots by following a few suggestions and taking some steps. These steps lead into a place so wonderful that he could never have imagined it!! And so, the leopard with the changed spots, lived happily ever after, one day at a time.
Ok. So this is what I want to share with my work associate. She was talking about someone she loved, and his addictions. I said "It can be mighty hard for a leopard to change his spots."
To which she replied, sadly and sincerely, "Leopards never change their spots."
I know that there are many many good people who feel the same way about addicts and alcoholics. I don't hold it against them. It doesn't make them bad people; just uninformed.
Someday I'll share my story with this associate, but for now, I want to share it with you...