It’s Only Money!

For anything of real value in this world there’s always a counterfeit. Something that has the appearance of the genuine article but is actually nothing but a cheap imitation. It may look, smell or even provide us with comparable performance in the short term but that’s usually where the similarities end.

Money is kind of like that, many people often mistake it for love or happiness…

Can you imagine anyone purposely choosing a fake Rolex watch over a real one or a Cubic Zirconia over a real diamond?  You might be unaware of it but most if not all of us do something very similar to that on a daily basis!  It’s evident in some very significant aspects of our lives, from the way we treat each other on a personal level to the corporate structures we patronize. When we purchase food’s that have been commercially processed by large corporations we become part of an industry that has little or no respect for life, certainly not for the lives of the animals they inhumanely raise and slaughter or for the lives of the workers they hire for sub-standard wages to work in dangerous pesticide saturated environments and who not surprisingly also have no respect for us either! Is life sacred to you? From my perspective that’s a simple yes or no question, and if the answer is yes then the truth of that belief should extend to all life regardless of whether it’s born or unborn or walks on two feet or twenty!

Instead of approaching peoples health from a holistic perspective that takes into account the root sources of our maladies which are physical, spiritual and nutritional, we’re a nation of people who’d rather choose a pill that only masks the problem by eliminating  symptoms to some degree. We’re willing participants in a system that disrespects us by seeing our health as a business with profit as the real objective. We’d rather pay the sometimes exorbitant monetary cost and expose ourselves to the possible side effects than do the real thing which no doubt would include us making some of the different food choices and lifestyle changes as well.

Nope, hunt-uh, no thanks!

As I thought about all of this I really struggled to understand why people,myself included, seem to be more comfortable with fake than they are with real…and this is what occurred to me. Maybe it’s because before we’d be comfortable with real,which is respectful, caring and is based in ethics we’d have to insist on those same qualities in ourselves…We’d need to have a healthy self respect that wouldn’t allow us to be a part of such a thing, or consider doing the unthinkable…caring about others more than ourselves! Give us just one reason to choose something less and we’ll swoop down on it like no tomorrow which is smack dab on the doorstep of where this sort of unsustainable thinking has landed us.

We’ve chosen what we think makes economic sense, and on both a corporate and personal level we’ve gone with what will make us the biggest profit or save us the most money with not much thought being given to the long term consequences.

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

I’m certainly not against people making a living and based on Paul’s writing in the above verse I don’t think he was either. It’s placing money or the power it conveys above people, to love it, which is merely a representation of value more than we do others is to sow seeds of sadness into our own lives. What we’ve failed to understand is that it is truly “Only Money” and that someday, maybe even today, we’ll live a life that reflects our accountability for the choices we’ve made.

Sick and Tired…

There are always good and bad examples within any industry or profession and here in America our health care system is certainly no exception. However I don’t think it would be unfair, or an overstatement to say that the business of health care in this country has gone way beyond that! At the onset I want to make it clear that I have the utmost respect for the many people of integrity who work in the medical field and who’s passion it is to ease human suffering. Having said that, my intent here is to heap scorn onto the purveyors of what I see as being the primarily profit motivated, patient abusing quackery so sadly common in this country.

But first, who am I and what are my qualifications, what makes me think I could possibly have anything relevant to say on this topic? My answer is that that is exactly the perspective held by too many people both in and out of the health profession, that we’re too dumb to have a valid opinion about our own health or understand there’s something wrong when a listing of the side effects following a drug ad takes 20-30 seconds to recite. I’m sorry but it’s just hard for me to place a lot of trust in an industry that based on the frequency of it’s malpractice supports an army of lawyers or that can’t seem to make up their mind about something as simple as an egg! One thing’s for sure, our ill’s aren’t the result of a lack of drugs in our bodies…so how can they cure anything?

The list of things that science has gotten wrong throughout history is a long one. The world wasn’t flat, the practice of bleeding people doesn’t cure or help anyone, and so, we need to remind ourselves that there’s no doubt we’ve still got a few things wrong today!  In another hundred years will they look back at how we currently treat people with mental illness and wince at our crude methods? What about cancer, is it the best we can do to poison ourselves with chemotherapy and hope that it kills the renegade cells before it kills us? And yet some who work in the healing arts have the audacity to be offended when we question whether a prescribed therapy is right for us, seek out a second opinion, or opt for an alternative treatment. It’s not the unavoidable ignorance of medical treatment that bothers me the most it’s the eye’s wide open snake oil peddlers who profit from peoples misery I’m against.

However unlikely the realization of it may seem I believe that the American people must take back responsibility for their health from the existing medical establishment. It’s not really the insurmountable task that some might think, many people live long and very healthy lives by following simple principles of balance such as work eight hours, sleep eight and spend the other eight doing something you enjoy! Also why not give our overworked digestive systems a break and cut back on the amount of red meat we consume, I suspect that many peoples lack of energy is in part due to the constant demands placed on our blood supply to digest this habitual over consumption. If we could stop eating anything that’s been bleached, overly processed, that contains high fructose corn syrup or comes from a drive through window I believe our collective health would improve so much that it would put big pharma and big agra out of business!

Yes, I’m sick…

Sick of the way people in this country have been brainwashed into self destructing…

And I’m tired of pretending that somehow everything is going to be “okay”…

Next post…It’s Only Money!

The American Nightmare

For me it’s sort of an inescapable conclusion that at some point in the future man will look back at what once was the United States and weep. Perhaps he’ll be overwhelmed by the loss of what once was,or enraged by the self serving greed that was responsible for it’s demise! He may even be dumbfounded that people were so complacent, that they let themselves be used for profit and then be tossed out like garbage afterwards.

Call it what you will, absurd perhaps…negative, unpatriotic?

One thing’s for sure, it’s bad news!

In this post and in forthcoming installments I’ll explain my perceptions of why I feel as though we’re  headed for the rocks and leave you to draw your own conclusions.  While  considering how to best accomplish this I was at first discouraged by the scope and complexity of the problem and  then also perplexed over deciding which of our national issues to include. My intent is not to be exhaustive or to bombard anyone with more information than most people care to know, but instead to provoke thought and discussion as I casually relate what I perceive to be happening to all of us who call ourselves “Americans”.

Where to start?

They say that if you’ve got your health you’ve got everything. If you doubt it, simply ask the next terminally ill billionaire you meet which he or she prefers–his or her money or his or her life!

As our nation has become more and more urban and less and less rural something critically important has changed with regard to the average Americans diet and “lifestyle”. People stopped growing their own vegetables and raising their own animals opting instead to simply get a job and buy those things from a store. I believe it was called the industrial revolution. Sounds important, doesn’t it? We then turned this most important responsibility over to corporations whose primary motive is profit and then somehow we’re shocked and disillusioned that they might not live up to the claims they make in their commercials of how they “care about your families health”. In fact, the results of this sort of  “caring” are the primary precipitating factor to practically every major health problem we have in this country!

We’re a nation of over-fed and obese, malnourished people…Huh?

That’s right, we consume foods produced under unnatural conditions which are not only practically void of nutrition but are for many reasons outright toxic to us. Our bodies continue to crave nutrition that our foods don’t have and so we continue to consume more and more in an attempt to satisfy our needs.  What happens is that in this futile process we end up ingesting a incredibly high number of calories we have little or no chance of burning since few of us do very much daily manual labor while sitting at a desk or driving a truck.

Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer…

Recently I met a lady from Africa whose mother came here for a visit. When taken to a local grocery store she was at first very impressed with the great abundance and apparent quality of the food she saw but after tasting it her opinion changed. Within weeks she told her daughter that she had to go home because she couldn’t eat our food. I believe the reason for her aversion is that she simply knew the difference between the real food she was used to and our fake food! I further believe that food does, or at least should have, “soul “. That love is a tangible ingredient that can be touched and tasted, one that’s essential to our health and one that’s sadly absent in our food supply! It seems as though in the name of corporate profit we’ve been duped to the point that we don’t, as the lady’s mother did, even know the difference!

Exactly who are the expediters of this American nightmare? I’m not afraid to name names….Corporations such as Monsanto,Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland top the list of entities who are out to monopolize our food supply and force feed us nutritionally bankrupt, genetically modified,commercially irradiated, poisonous, substances cleverly disguised as food! It’s almost as if our government has pimped out the American people to these food conglomerates, and to the World Health Organization with their “better” ideas such as Codex Alimentarius

But don’t be alarmed.

Because we in America have the best health  sick care system in the world–

And that’s the topic of my next rant blog entitled

“Sick and Tired”

What Child Is This?

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Having the opportunity to work around a school and “school children” has really put me in touch with a lot of my own adolescent school memories! Because of the circumstances of my own education I have a real soft spot for special needs kids or kids who just seem to fall through the cracks of the system. Based on my own life experience it’s my opinion that children’s behavioral issues (beyond simple boundary testing) are   outward manifestations of the circumstances in their lives that they have no other way to express than to “act out” what they’re feeling. They engage in these behaviors in the fervent hope that someone will understand and help them deal with the “situation” they’re unable to express in a more verbal fashion. When a four year old bites and hits and causes chaos we discipline them with swats on the butt or time outs expecting that to be more formidable or threatening to them than the scary stuff that’s already in their heads.

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I think in many cases that’s exactly what we do…and it doesn’t work,at least not for the child! It may bring them into compliance in the moment which is seen as a victory of sorts for the caregiver but I see it as a temporary symptom based treatment of much deeper issues.

Years later, When this same child who has now been labeled a “discipline problem” and who’s outgrown the previous approaches exhibits new symptoms of conditions with names like “oppositional defiant disorder” or “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” we scratch our heads and send them off to the psychiatrist for evaluations. Some get the help they need and others don’t . Its those kids that don’t whom oftentimes, in an attempt to get a need met, become involved with substance abuse, gang’s, teen sex, or even just good old fashioned stuff like being disruptive and talking back to teachers.

Sadly, conventional wisdom says that the these new problems are best handled by suspensions, expulsions, or other “bullying” techniques. Of course I’ll admit that those techniques are effective on some students, however the ones I’m referring to who have what I consider to be “special needs” are kids who have 55 gallon drums of industrial strength pain constantly leaking into their psyche to whom the idea of being suspended as punishment seems laughable or absurd, or even a relief from the daily bludgeoning they receive from peers, principals, and worst of all themselves…It is indeed a very dark place.

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Lets fast forward to the rest of their lives…

Looking into the face of this young girl we quickly remind ourselves that her circumstances don’t absolutely have the last word on her life and that they can and do prepare us for life in some very special ways. Also that we can either let our circumstances get in the way of what we want in life or choose not to which is of course true, but how many of us could summon up the necessary tenacity to see this through without a lot of VERY special help?

In this life, no one succeeds or fails alone…

There is a much more typical result for children who’ve been mishandled by the people in their lives who’s charge it was to help guide them into becoming a successfully functioning adult. You can expect them to become chronically underachieving adults whose life challenges include the inability to maintain long term relationships with people or hold steady jobs. They’re alcoholics, drug addicts,or maybe in prison…why? One reason is because when you’re young and cute and so vulnerable it’s easier to garner compassion and perhaps understanding from people, but as you grow older peoples perception is basically that you ARE your behavior which is patently false.

They may be much older but their techniques of self expression are at times much the same as a small child’s…logically it also makes sense that the actual solution would also be the same. In the life of a child or a young adult the positive influence of even one person in they’re lives can have a profound impact. When we practice “understanding” people we validate their feelings instead of beating them up for having them. Learning new and more positively functional ways to get our needs met in this life is what it’s all about!

it’s irrelevant how old they are or…who’s child is this?