I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about sheep recently. As I’m sure you know, I speak to many people about their health practices and ideals, and in my mind, “sheep” is an excellent way to describe them. I first heard this term being used by alternative health organizations, (in a very negative way). It describes people who don’t know better and follow the medical system blindly, as sheep do, without ever really finding out the truth for themselves or learning to make their own decisions.
The more I have learnt, the more I find this to be true; so (naturally) I decided to blog about it.
A few years ago I was a sheep. (ouch!) I listened to what my Doctor told me, and I believed and did whatever I was told. Sadly though, something was not right. At some point, I had to ask myself, “why isn’t this working?” Sure, my doctor was smart – and YES I know – my doctor went to medical school and I did NOT – however, there comes a time when you need to KNOW your own body. As unorthodox as it sounds, I needed to be responsible and be the “doctor” for my body.
And so, I began to research – to ask the WHY questions, and not to stop until I got some answers. Now, many of you might not feel you need to ask the WHY questions because you’re pretty satisfied with your health, or your child’s health – and maybe your medical doctor has been wonderful to you and all’s fine and dandy. And that’s great too. But, really – let’s think for a minute. With a fine tooth comb, we study our cell phone bills – looking for mistakes. We examine with a sharp eye our bank statements to make sure there are no errors. We harshly judge our children’s teachers because we want to make sure our kid is getting the best possible education.
Why do we not do the same with our medical system?
Its mind boggling, watching people follow like meek and timid sheep with little or no independence when it comes to taking responsibility for our health.. There is always room to ask WHY, to discern and understand the reasons. There should be no such thing as: “That’s just the way it is.”
I decided to blog about this now because tonight /tomorrow I will be commemorating my mother’s Yartzeit. She passed away in 2002 at the young age of 49. When I was just a young toddler my mother was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and unfortunately, I never really got to know who she really was, the person behind the illness. There is one lesson that I learned from her that I will never forget. When I was a kid, during those turbulent years when I had no friends and felt I’d never fit in with my snobby and elitist classmates, my mother constantly reminded me: “Do Your Own Thing.” She would say to me, “if everyone is doing one thing, but you want to do another – Do what YOU want.” Never EVER “follow the crowd” blindly, but decide for myself what it is I wanted and what is right for me. She promised me, that if I was true to myself and listened to my heart, then soon people will be following ME instead of the other way around.
Of course, this lesson took me years to learn. Maybe that’s why today I’m so adamant of doing things differently? (my pink wedding gown perhaps? )
As an advocate for alternative health and responsible living, this lesson of not following like timid sheep is important now more than ever. It’s imperative we learn to take action for our health instead of just following the crowds and the “norms.”
On my mom’s yartzeit, I believe that she’d be happy I’m living this valuable lesson daily and I only hope that you try to do the same.
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My mom, my brother and me (with my AWESOMELY wild curly hair) on our front steps in Albany, NY.
Mommy & Me (wasn’t I a cutie patootie?)
My Family way back when… (I don’t look very happy to be there. It must be the hideous fuchsia velour outfit I’m wearing. Well it was the 80’s….)