Thursday, December 18, 2014

Global Weather Change is Just a Symptom

Today I am looking at the whole issue of global weather change. Many folks are arguing about this.  I am on the sidelines watching. Today I am thinking about this argument and focusing on it through my training as a physician. I think we should stop focusing on this symptom and get to the cause of the matter.

As a physician, I am appalled at our medical system in the United States. It is a system that treats disease, not the human individual before them. It is a system that treats symptoms. This medical system is not set up to actively engage the "patient" and help them heal.  It is more about finding the right drug or drugs to alleviate the symptoms that are bothering the individual seeking assistance.

Medicine should be an investigative effort. It should focus on the cause of ailments. By getting bogged down in the symptoms, we forget that there is an individual before us who will never get well if we do not figure out the CAUSE of their symptoms.

Now, many folks do not want to look at the cause. To find a cause can be hard work. It is much easier to treat a symptom. So, if it is easier you may ask, "Why not just treat the symptom?" Well, you may need to do this to save a life or treat a symptom short term, but if you do not find the cause of their ailment, you are simply hiding the problem temporarily. New symptoms will appear due to not treating the cause, or your current treatment of the symptom will stop working. So, I have learned in medicine, to always look for the cause so the patient can really begin healing. 

This is how I approach most problems in life. If I burn my hand while cooking, treating the wound with a fresh aloe leaf is necessary for quick healing, but next time I will use a potholder to prevent this from happening. The cause in this instance being a lack of protection on the hand. If I just keep treating burns on my hand rather than treating the cause of the burns, I will end up with some really gnarly hands.

So, back to weather change on this planet. There is a lot of argument about this and I just don't get it. People are dealing with food that is being genetically engineered, sprayed with all sorts of toxic chemicals, the old growth forests that are the lungs of the earth and providers of many medicines and keepers of untold other jewels are disappearing quickly, we live in buildings built with toxic materials that make people sick, the soil is being depleted of the minerals necessary to give us  health, the air is not always fit to breath, the water is not always fit to drink, drugs for symptoms have replaced true healing, love and compassion are being eroded away by politicians and others who benefit by pitting us against each other. I could go on, but I will not. These are the real causes of our anguish on the planet.

What if rather than talking about the symptoms, we take that same energy spent arguing about global weather change and focus that energy on very real problems in front of us. Looking at symptoms of our bad choices is not getting anything really accomplished. 

Additionally, we also need to be careful of trying to take on everything all at once, as I see this overwhelm people and they become apathetic. When we start considering all the issues that face us and let them all monopolize our thoughts,  it really is easy to get overwhelmed.

We need to focus on planetary problems we are most passionate about. That is how we can make real  change. We also need to realize that other people working on different projects to heal our planet are in a sense a part of a global team with us. Even if we focus on one issue such as providing healthy food, we know our sisters and brothers are working on the other issues. Look around, this is already happening. I tell my students who are overwhelmed and feel they can't contribute, to simply pick one area that they are deeply moved by. If they have many of these, I then tell them to pick the one they are most passionate about and can be the most effective in. If your are fed up with genetically modified food, then work towards all food being healthy. Put your time into teaching others to garden organically, work towards labeling GMO food, talk to store owners about changes they could make to serve their community better, work towards creating laws that will support healthy farming practices in your area. Educate people about the dangers of glyphosate, 2-4 D and other chemicals that are in/on many conventional foods. Educate people about their ability to control the world around them via what they purchase. If we stop buying GMO foods laden with glyphosate, 2-4 D, or other chemically laden foods no one will be growing them. By refusing to buy disease promoting food and choosing to buy organic, healthy food we change the whole food production system. 

I focus on education a lot as it is my belief that a well informed person will make a good choice for all of us. As you are learning how to live healthier, teach others. You do not have to know everything about the subject. Just teach what you know to those who need to hear about it. I agree with Richard Bach when he wrote in his book Illusions, "We teach best, those things we need to learn most." If you are teaching others what you know, you will find it is the best reason to learn everything there is to know about a subject. The more you learn, the more you can be of service to those you teach. Eventually, you will be surprised at what you know. By they way, I am always open to learning from folks who do not agree with me. Sometimes it is hard to listen, but if we only hear views we agree with, how can we really examine reality and get a more inclusive view of the world.

So, look around you. What do you see as issues? Perhaps it is the fighting amongst nations, and amongst various groups of people. There seems to be focus on groups of people pointing fingers at each other nowadays and people taking up sides verbally, and physically. Perhaps this is something you see as an important issue to address. So, is this a cause or symptom.  I see this as a symptom of a deeper issue. Some people on the planet are quick to make accusations and jump to conclusions, point fingers and fight. The Dalai Lama had a great answer for this symptom when I was listening to him yesterday. He said we need more love and compassion and suggested that we start teaching love and compassion in the schools. Education at home and at school on how to be more loving and compassionate really could go a long ways in changing the planet. I know for myself the practice of meditation/prayer is helpful to keep me in sync with love vibes and being a compassionate person. I think engaging in any type of quiet inward looking behaviors helps us to be more loving and compassionate. Then taking those feelings out into the world to serve others really lets that love and compassion grow.