Allen Schwartz is a recovery advocate who serves as a prayer chaplain at Unity of the Palm Beaches. You can hear him in episode 104 of The Path to Authenticity. As person in long-term recovery, Allen is well known in the Palm Beach County recovery community. His professional career began shortly after he moved to West Palm Beach in 1991. Over the past several decades, Allen has worked at a number of substance abuse treatment facilities in various roles, including as an admissions specialist, a behavior health technician, a group facilitator, and a community relations specialist. In addition to also serving his community as a volunteer over the years, he is an accomplished photographer.
If your life were a novel, what would be the title?
Life in a Canoe, Book Two
Where were you born?
Mt. Eden Hospital, The Bronx, New York, New York
Where is the place you call home?
West Palm Beach, Florida
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What is your profession?
What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
What is your favorite quote?
“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.” —Thomas Merton, from a letter to Dorothy Day
What is your preferred form of creative expression?
What is your favorite movie, song, and work of art?
End of the Road, 1970 film by Aram Avakian, based on the novel by John Barth, first published in 1958
Who do you admire most?
The Sufi Poet Rumi and Richard Alpert, also known as Baba Ram Dass
Over the course of your life, what is an issue with which you have repeatedly struggled?
Though quite happy with my adoptive parents, I have often wondered about my biological roots, and just this past year discovered both maternal and paternal relatives.
In childhood, who was your celebrity crush?
Sophia Loren and Doris Day
What historical figure would you most like to meet?
Mata Hari, born Margretha Zelle
What natural gift or ability would you most like to possess?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The Birth of My Daughter Astra
What quality do you admire most in a person?
Open honesty, intellectual awareness, an appreciation for the arts
What is something you would like to learn about?
Fluid communication in a foreign language, perhaps American Sign Language
What do you wish more people knew about you?
The depth of extreme depression I have experienced
What is your idea of success?
What would you like people to say about you when you’re gone?
He was a good man!