This morning while listening to a lecture given by a man dying of cancer he mentioned somewhat sarcastically, “if you have herbal remedies or healing techniques please stay away from me.” and got a good laugh from the crowd. The speaker was introduced as a highly intelligent, educated, and accomplished man. He was speaking on how he has achieved his childhood dreams and the series venue he was speaking for was entitled, “The Last Lecture” and was created as a hypothetical opportunity to present what you would tell an audience if it was your last lecture…unfortunately, with a number of weeks left to live, the lecture given by this cancer-ridden man would more than likely be his last.
A few minutes later as I stirred my oatmeal on the stovetop I considered this speaker’s comment about his health and herbal/holistic healing techniques. I felt saddened that for all his knowledge and intelligence he was dying of tumors in his liver. I felt saddened that his innate intelligence and zeal for life didn’t direct him towards other alternative healing options if what he was currently doing wasn’t working. Why not? I wonder what has created limitations in his mind of where healing comes from and whom he can trust with his health, and in turn, his life. Why not search out alternative options? I found it intriguing that his lecture was on how to live fully and achieve your dreams, including messages on taking risk, and yet he was accepting his supposedly inevitable death without doing just that. What is it that creates fear of the unknown and is that fear truly stifling enough to stop attempts at survival?
How you view the world matters. This reflection this morning has led me to consider my own perspective of the world. Am I really proving a point that holistic medicine is the only way to truly heal? Not at all. As I ponder I am coming to understand that my concern was rooted in the lecturer’s lack of an open mind. He was an inventor creating theme park rides and digital masterpieces, and yet that creativity did not bleed into his personal belief system towards life when it really came down to where the rubber hits the road. I’m not upset he stuck with a western medicine route in his personal healthcare; I am sad he was patronizing towards an alternative option that holds potential for healing. Isn’t the definition of insanity to do the same thing and expect different results? If what you’re doing isn’t working where is the harm found in trying something new? Is it that it hurts too much to find a window of hope when one might have already resigned themselves to an unpleasant twist in their story? Sometimes how you view the world and what doors you choose to open can be path-altering…and in scenarios such as the one I’m referring to here…sometimes those doors can be life-saving.
For me, it isn’t necessarily about HOW you view the world. In conclusion I suppose I would say that how you view the world matters, but a willingness to view the world from different angles is where opportunity and progress are found.