2016 was the year of weddings for me. I was in one, had a date to one | Thanks M.E. | traveled to two, and did my worst work at small talk. Or, small tizzy, as most would know me to say because although I’m educated, I like slang. Sue me.
As we veer back to the main focus here, I caught myself thinking about the fated controversial small talk that I endured at a wedding, a joyous occasion turned salty. Which led to further thought on, a discussion at Baruch College that shockingly got me quite out of character. I’ll delve into both of these instances momentarily, but the ADD version is this:
1. Be your own doctor
2. Do your own voracious research
This may end up being a rant — thank the gods for the internet and its ability to wrap me gently in a technological embrace when it comes to times like telling the world how you really feel. FYI: this post is not about weddings whatsoever.
Dig as Deeply as You Can Muster
For a reason that will remain unknown until possibly the end of time, I butted into a heated topic at the cousins-only table at a wedding. I hadn’t seen these far-reaching family members in years and thus, we didn’t know each other that well. Some eyes were averted to shut down conversation before it even started; yea, that type of table non-etiquette that has and will continue to happen to us all. I was listening to two nurses chat amiably about vaccinating children when I word vomited and said I slightly disagreed. Without inquiring as to which area I disagreed with |like vaccinating in general, which vaccinations in particular, scheduling, etc | one went on an absolute tirade. She was sick and tired of people second guessing all the positives of vaccinations when the writing was on the wall, especially when it came from non-medical professionals and/or non-mothers | cough, cough, me |. She went on, full steam ahead, laughing that people actually thought vaccinations were linked to long-term illness or even autism, the shock and horror! I let her rock because it became obvious I wasn’t there to be heard, but to listen, so life becomes easier when you know your role.
But as I mentioned, technological embrace 😉
In my, non-medical non-professional opinion, I find it interesting that so many people would voluntarily offer their new children up to the hands of doctors that want so much to vaccinate with portions of toxins, many times in a single session and then repeatedly over the course of the first few years. After recently finding out, for instance, that my grandfathers’ doctor was paid for every time he sliced and diced my grandfathers’ face, checking off the box melanoma … I felt nauseated. At this moment, doctors in the USA simply aren’t making as much as they used to due to certain widespread insurance changes that you may or may not have heard of. Then, there’s also the idea of — where are we getting our information? There’s such a gargantuan amount of information out there, besides the overwhelming factor, it’s hard to sift through and know if and when you’re on the right track. Until something untoward happens to you personally or someone in your family, you’re probably unwilling to believe facts that aren’t disseminated first through mass media | IE. many strains of cancer have been documented as cured with natural holistic living practices coupled with massive diet change such as eradication of all sugars, gluten, soy, etc and the inclusion of copious fresh carrot juice, apple cider vinegar with the mother, and the list truly goes on |.
Lets backtrack for a second here — there are only a few giants that run the USA — Big Pharma, Big Oil, Evangelicals, Media | or basically people like Koch Brothers, Ailes, Murdoch, etc | and a potential Illuminatus factor because, we might as well add a little conspiratorial activity here for funsies. It is in the best interests of at least two of these groups for people to remain sick, to continue buying medications, or to continue their hospital visits, and to essentially remain consciously asleep. The myriad of complicated ways that something as seemingly simple as vaccination can be manipulated to the whims of my BIG 5, is staggering in its size as well as its insidiousness. Leading easily to the vast slumber that most people are walking around in, unbeknownst to them. Vaccination, as an example, is up to the individual and it can be argued for and against, but all I argue for is digging deeper. Find the statistics linking terminal illness to vaccines, or if there are other schedules your child can adhere to, or how many ER doctors call pediatricians asking what the dosages were of certain children that had to be admitted due to sky-high fevers and other major symptoms, or discern the naturopathic route to achieve the same immunity levels. I don’t know much, but I do know that I’d rather be my own doctor first, then get a second opinion later. Let’s go back to a few of those original values deep within all of us, regardless of nationality, like independence, accountability, and curiosity. Please, stop relying on commercials, Facebook newsfeed, and only the first page of Google searches. Dig a little deeper for yourself.
The Morals & Ethics of the Media
So, I thought I’d go back for my graduate degree at Baruch College, in NYC, this past year. This was my second time testing things out and because I usually like reading the end of a book first | sue me |, I was weeded out after that first semester and this particular class was a big reason why. In a rhetoric course, we were posed with the paraphrased question, “how much fault lies in advertising companies for the moral atrocities they purport?” For instance, if a billboard in Times Square told the masses that cigarette smoking, in a shocking discovery, could cure dementia instead of possibly cause it and actually be a great way to gain muscle! Due to its placement in the middle of New York, some people might turn right into the next bodega and get a carton, some might laugh, some might get angry … but I bet, a great many would buy a carton because, why would a billboard in NYC advertised by a pharmaceutical company that everyone knows, lie?
My hand was so far in the air that I think I might have actually been standing on my desk. Now, if you know me, you know I like to talk, have my opinion be heard in a group, and don’t mind a good disagreement. BUT, I rarely spoke in this class and definitely migrated from my typical center front seat to center back row. But today, today I had to act brand new.
Truly, I thought everyone would feel me. I think that there is zero blame on advertisers because they are doing their jobs, and if they got at least one person to shift their programmed thinking so much that they actually purchase a carton of ciggies for the reason on the billboard — then that company not only did the job, but they rocked it. The blame, as always once you’re an adult | unless you have some challenge where you need assistance | is ON YOU. Ignorance is no longer bliss, as my closest people have heard me say over and over again. YOU are to blame if you do not deconstruct a message and research each part of it that causes you concern. YOU are to blame if you take things as they are, especially in the 21st century where your 3-year-old child can create a Wikipedia page. I mean, I was standing up, getting hot, and my voice may or may not have gone up and octave or two. When I finished, looked around and saw people turned away from me or flat-out mouths agape, I realized I was alone here.
I realized, at that moment, I couldn’t possibly get an education from an institution that isn’t that into disagreement and deeper discussion. Isn’t that the actual point of further education? Debating mindsets, possibly altering them due to new information, or at least hearing other points of view? Not here. Not only did I visibly shock the professor with my thoughts that clearly didn’t coincide with her lesson, but I was vilified by several outspoken students that were the overwhelming majority of programmed thought. The professor, post shock, thanked me for my contribution and simply moved on. She saw fault in my logic in her opinion, and kept that opinion right to herself. I was under the impression that there is no other more welcoming place for intelligent conversation than right here, in a graduate class with employed, thinking individuals. I gotta work on my expectations for real.
I kept my mouth shut after that outburst. Even when a certain President was elected and my professor damn near cried the whole class and camethisclosetocancellingit. What if there were students that were, oh the horror, pleased with the outcome? If they made themselves known, I’m sure they would have been booed right out of class. What type of environment is that!? Opposition isn’t welcome?
There’s no better time than now to arm yourselves with accurate knowledge and push a button or two, seriously. Broach the topic, test the waters, be respectful, listen to hear not to respond, and remember the ear to mouth ratio | 2:1 |. Talk to people, connect and understand. We need to get back to this place if we’re going to make any grassroots changes for the things that we want. Who knows, morals and ethics are relative and changeable, I think we’re beginning to see these changes in people already.
Good luck in 2017, for real. Chins up, brains on.