If you are of my generation – I’m a generation X-er – or older, you were likely brought up in a culture where there was deference to authority. The word of the government, and those systems run by government (the health care system and the education system), or the word of the church, and the people called to them and employed within them “knew better”.
This was a carryover from the hugely powerful opinions that dominated for centuries. As white men adopted technology and thought they knew better than the “savages” they “civilized” large parts of the globe.
Let’s cut to the wise words sung in Colours of the Wind in Disney’s Pocahontas:
You think you own whatever land you land on
The earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name
You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew
And so as the money that ‘great’ British Empire was built upon diminished, people are slowly learning that the great systems of government - even those created in ‘breaking free’ of the Empire - are no longer so great after all.
There was a time when healthcare actually involved a deeper level of care, and sadly many who are healers and compassionate in their core are drawn into a system that is more about budgets and targets these days. In the words of Alan Shore, played by James Spader, in Boston Legal:
“The fact is the U.S. pharmaceutical industry spends almost twice as much on promotion as it does on research and development. That’s obscene!”
Albeit this is from a fictional storyline, it points to something that is evident. Dee McCaffrey (one of the government scientists that put together the original food pyramid, the government’s recommendations of healthy proportions of food groups) talks about how pressure from the big food companies ended up in the pyramid changing, with way more emphasis on bread than was actually though healthy.
She also talks about the history of stevia – a natural sweeter that does not upset the chemical balance within your body in the same way as refined sugars and sweetners, and can be harvested quite cheaply in plentiful amounts – and how the company selling artificial sweeteners in the early part of the twentieth century lobbied the government to ensure stevia was discredited and made unavailable.
Yet many still look to their doctor for healthcare advice and treatment. Doctors study for jobs that largely involve surgical procedures and pharmaceutical interventions that ‘bomb the enemy’. Look to any war to see the devastation that creates in society for decades, even centuries, beyond. The same is true within the microcosm of society that exists within our own bodies.
Alternative therapies and/or complementary therapies have been positioned in a derogatory way next to the big pharmaceuticals. Setting aside energy medicines that are based on the belief we are made of energy and essentially non-physical beings having a physical experience (that is a whole other debate, but you will find fields like neuroscience and epigenetics are now starting to point to this), even those therapies that have a direct effect on the physical system, like nutritional supplements, massage therapy and herbal remedies are often seen as woo woo.
Even when they are not, too many people still put their healthcare in the hands of “medical professionals” who are generally less likely to have the knowledge and experience about these alternative and complementary therapies – never mind funding - that can help the patient back to a point of wellbeing. Certainly very few are funded to offer these as treatment routes.
Meanwhile there are many more health practitioners out there who have studied many of these alternative therapies in great depth, and continue to keep abreast of the latest research and findings despite the many attempts to discredit or downplay their importance. But because of an ingrained deference to the ‘authority’ of traditional systems, too many people are still missing out.
If you haven’t looked lately, over the last 20 years huge swaths of research and studies have been undertaken around the world that seek to understand alternative medicines and their effects on humans, and to understand our emotional wellbeing and its’ effects on illness, and even to understand consciousness itself.
I could talk in similar ways about the education system, and its effect on burgeoning humans – and the various doctrines of any church. Dare I say all of these things are simply the perspective of a person. Even those whom channel the energy of that you might call God, or spirit, have channeled it through their physical apparatus with all of its limitations.
This is a perspective, it is no more valid or credible – and no less so – than anyone else’s. Each person experiences life from a different vantage point, and (regardless of training and experience) all anyone EVER has to offer you is an opinion. No more, no less.
Look to our new generations, who pay much less attention to ‘authority’ because they see it for the falsehood it is, it is only an opinion, and certainly it is not absolute. The only opinion that really counts, the only ONE truth, is the truth you hold within yourself in this moment.
I’m not talking about the truth as you were taught to believe it, the one that speaks from the facts and figures stored in your mind, I’m talking about the wisdom that resides in your own heart, your own intuition, which can always discern your own truth, the way that is best for you right now.
Putting your life, whether in its physical, mental or spiritual capacity, in the hands of any other authority than your own, is detrimental to your wellbeing. Sure, seek advice, seek opinions, but take charge of your beliefs, question the thoughts that reside as a result of your early upbringing, they may no longer serve you.
Not to put too fine a point on it, reexamining your beliefs can save your life. Take your wellbeing into your own hands. Your own opinion is the only one that counts.
Knowing I’ve helped in some way through my writing means a lot - I’d love for you to like, comment on, or share these thoughts with others, or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’m always happy to help if I can. To be the first to receive these posts, you can also subscribe to my newsletter and, as a special thank you, you will receive the link to my video 3 Steps to Becoming You.
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