Do I believe that most mosques today would let recovering alcoholics and drug addicts speak to their congregations? Probably not. Do I think there is a problem with that? Yes, definitely. Our failure to engage diversity in our communities, inclusive of diversity in terms of life experience, leaves us potentially stunted in our individual and communal growth.
For many of us who may struggle on a daily basis with anxiety, depression, addiction and self-worth, all we want to do is just get to first base. Sometimes, that's as far as we can go on any given day, month, or year. Hitting a home run isn't really something we are able to do just yet. But be patient with us. Give us the gift of time, and a maybe a little more than three strikes.
Reality television shows often portray dramatic and provocative "interventions" that claim to result in radical change. Unfortunately, these types of approaches rarely work and can serve to alienate and shame the individual, often leaving him or her with lower self-esteem, self-hatred and hopelessness.