"See, I give you today [both] a blessing and a curse. The blessing [will come] when you obey the commandments... The curse [will come] if you disobey the commandments..."—Deuteronomy 11:26-28.

The command to "see" means to focus the mind until one "sees" things clearly. It is G‑d's call to the individual to seriously ponder the choice of good and evil, of blessing and curse, until it becomes as clear as something one has observed with his physical eyes.

Why the need for such profound contemplation? Who needs to deliberate over whether or not he would like to choose a blessing over a curse? The choice is both natural and obvious. Even a fleeting and superficial assessment of the two options should be sufficient.

The answer is that to understand the nature of the curse, one must look past its appearance at its face value. The curse is not what it appears at first glance to be; and to see this requires contemplation.

Good exists for its own sake; it is intrinsically worthy. Evil is merely good's illusory shadowWhat is the true nature of evil?

Evil in and of itself has no substance or purpose. It exists only to provide the possibility of choice, so that man can take credit for and appreciate the good he chooses. Thus, only because freedom of choice is essential to man's service of G‑d has G‑d created the appearance that good and evil are equally viable options. We need to see that each has its pros and cons, and that each provides something for man that the other does not.

In reality, however, there is no comparison between good and evil. Good is real, true and everlasting. Good exists for its own sake; it is intrinsically worthy. Evil is merely good's illusory shadow—which creates the impression that there is another way. It is nothing more than a well-crafted decoy that has no other purpose than to give our choices meaning.

This knowledge – that the entire purpose of evil is only that it must be overcome by man – makes our service of G‑d much easier. But to perceive this truth, one must "see." One must pierce through the illusion that evil exists in its own right and see that it is nothing more than a means to an end—to allow man to become truly closer to G‑d.

In choosing recovery over active addiction, we are not battling between two equal opposing forces. After all, choosing to give in to our disease is not an actual option. It's nothing more than a choice that exists in order to give meaning to our lives as sober people.

Our lives are testimony to the fact that – for us – to choose sobriety is to choose a blessing and that to choose a drink is to choose a curse. But the curse does not exist for its own sake. The curse itself has no other purpose than to give greater meaning and value to the blessing.

In other words, the curse brought on by taking that first drink serves no true purpose. However, our sobriety gives us a sensitivity and appreciation that most other people will never know. Being clean, we are able to appreciate the simple, G‑dly bliss of a sober day.