I was curled up on the couch ready to relax and watch a show I enjoy, when a couple minutes into the interview segment of The Daily Show, I became triggered by something I heard. This experience unexpectedly encouraged me to voice myself and express my perspective. It felt amazing, and it led me to begin a journey of transition from a prancing ponder-er passionate about peace into a committed record-er and share-er of what I believe to be illuminating insights and ideas.
January 31st, 2011
Jon Stewart was interviewing Bill Gates about his work with his foundation and his goal to eradicate polio. Jon Stewart asks, “Is this a problem of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and India that don’t want the vaccine because they are “holistic” parents (host, guest, and audience laugh..hahahaha) or is it because that these are war zones and you can’t get the doctors in….?”
I felt annoyed and angered and posted this on The Daily Show Facebook Wall:
“Did not appreciate the term “holistic” used to describe parents who do not vaccinate their children. This issue is not that cut and dry. Hoping we can hold our judgments, be open to many sources of unbiased research, nature’s bounty of alternatives, and understand we all want children to be safe and healthy, even if we make different decisions.”
A woman named Jean responded with,“Then you and your unvaccinated child should stay home.”
Whoa…I responded with even more hurt, anger, annoyance, and sadness.
I took a day to fully feel my regret. I took time to mourn, and within me a desire grew that pushed me to live out my intention to empathize with myself and others, and express my concerns in a compassionate way, hoping they would be received.
And I responded with…
I am going to take a guess… Your understanding of what I wrote triggered feelings of anger and fear and a deep concern for the safety of yourself and all people? I imagine that you value a higher quality of life for all people and would like to allow them to avoid experiencing preventable diseases, despair, and death? From my understanding I think that you believe that our strategies of vaccination can prevent people this pain? (Insert virtual pause)
I, too, care deeply about every human’s quality of life. I feel immensely sad thinking of how unfortunate it is that even in countries where old diseases are not plaguing the population, the probability of a person living up to a human’s actual potential of health is still very low. I am not satisfied, nor do I feel safe, with all of the strategies of western medicine, and at the same time I do appreciate all of the efforts and experiments and human energy invested in searching for solutions. I have spent time considering and empathizing with the many challenges. I also consciously choose to consider that making a generalization about western medicine will not allow me to live out the respect and consideration that there are a multitude of individuals with unique ideas, all within a humongous field of study. My remark, which I regretted and spent yesterday accepting, was triggered by what I heard in Jon’s words to be a generalization about holistic health and parents who use it to contribute to their children’s health.
(click on collage for a closer/clearer view)
Holism defined by wikipedia:
Holism (from ὅλος holos, a Greek word meaning all, whole, entire, total) is the idea that all the properties of a given system (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone. Instead, the system as a whole determines in an important way how the parts behave.
This is a vast and varied field, ancient and modern, researched and re-remembered, and of course being created by humans, is subject to mis-takes. We are as a whole, quite fumbly, full of foibles and certainly fallible. Also, the entire field of Holistic Health is not in universal agreement about vaccinations. I will say that I am genuinely grateful for Bill Gate’s generosity and what I perceive as a heartfelt, intrinsic desire to help the world. I am humbled by Jon Stewart’s ability to help us handle the lack of honesty we hear from fellow humans with heaps of healing humor, awakening us with awareness of important issues, offering alternatives to mainstream media, and sharing with us his innovativeness and intelligence to hopefully ignite our patriotism and encourage us to pay attention. And to meet my universal human needs for clarity and accuracy, and at first I did exactly what I was told. Then I looked for more information and decided to harmonize several approaches, integrating my holistic resources with selective vaccination.
I exercise my right to question the intentions of institutions who approve what we are told and sold to inject and ingest. I worry that they are ignoring the possibility that what we consume is infected with incomprehensible ickyness, or some other illness, or a set of surprising symptoms signifying some kind of bodily dysfunction and subsequent decrease in quality of life. I worry about the integrity of the ingredients selected for all drinks, food, drugs, vaccinations, and products. I worry if they are selected for quality or quantity, with the priority being the people and the planet or the pockets and the profit. I also think that no one has all of the awareness to speak with absolute authority on any subject. Many of us have decided to take alternative routes and veer off course from the main stream. Considering this, I hope we are able to be open to hearing about all these new ideas and viewpoints that were absorbed while diverging onto all these side streams and willing to gain new perspectives than the one being spoon fed on the mainstream. I commend us all for we are taking paths of less convenience, and I hope for more camaraderie and community.
I promise to try and think twice before I post. I acknowledge my virtual vagueness, lacking in personal presence, and that my feelings are not caused by anyone else. They are clues that something I value, in this case consideration and inclusion, is not being experienced in my world. When this happens, my imperfectly perfect human self does get annoyed, angry, and frustrated. Underneath all that I feel fearful, because I want to hush the harshness of our voices, promote our potential, and make progress towards PEACE.