Chapter One – Introduction
Just a heads-up. This is going to be long. The blog AND the crisis.
If you’re interested, read on. If not, that’s cool, too. Please go forth in peace.
This is written with love and a desire to be a blessing.
From the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic and the world’s response I have communicated serious reservations and skepticism about the approach the government, the media, the medical establishment and the general public have taken. And I have caught holy hell for it on social media. There has been lots of support, too. I write this for clarity for all who care (including for myself).
I will be dealing primarily with the criticism that has been leveled, as opposed to the supporting comments. Those who read my blogs and listen to my podcasts regularly already understand and appreciate my perspective and point of view to some degree. I admire and have listened to many social commentators and influencers throughout my life. Men and women like Sydney J. Harris, Mike Royko, Bob Greene, Bill Maher, George Carlin, Oprah Winfrey, Phil Donohue, Ellen DeGeneres, Eugene Robinson, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Harry Browne, Peggy Noonan, George Will, Juan Williams, Ken Burns, Rush Limbaugh, Don Imus, Howard Stern, Mark Levin, Brit Hume—I could go on and on. You will notice a couple of things about all these people. Politically, they come from a variety of viewpoints and expertise. Additionally, they are all excellent communicators and entertaining. Information and provocation presented in an entertaining way is always more effective.
I have always disdained prejudice and craved insight. So, regardless of where I was on the political spectrum and where the source was coming from, if they were interesting, communicative, and entertaining, I wanted to hear what they had to say. And I would not prejudge it based on their politics.
These days most people won’t even consider another point of view because it doesn’t agree with their own political agenda. The other day I posted an article which said the epidemiologist who came up with the early calamitous projections on the virus stated he may have significantly over estimated the potential number of fatalities, which now seems to be the case.. “That headline is fake news. This must be Breitbart-backed,” was one comment directed at my post.. As if something that was backed by the Breitbart organization couldn’t possibly be accurate. Later that day, that report was sighted by Dr. Birx in her daily briefing. That doesn’t make the report accurate, either. However, to dismiss out of hand something because of where it comes from limits one’s potential information and therefore possible solutions. I have done well receiving from a variety of sources like The NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, and, yes oh my god, FOX News. Responding to my criticism of the media’s overall coverage, I got this, “They are watching out for us and many are risking their lives doing so. The criticism of media — outside of FOX, where they already know they will be sued into oblivion — is delusional.”
Criticism of the media is delusional? I will make the case later that far from delusional, my criticism of the media is well founded.
I will tell you what is delusional. Early on in the crisis people whose hate of Trump, who have become so delusional themselves because of it, started hoping this would be the crisis to topple him. Before this ever happened, Bill Maher wished for a recession to unseat Trump because people always vote their pocketbooks. So, he wished for a recession that would hurt a lot of people? That’s how desperately he wants Trump out. After the virus had hit New York Times opinion writer Gail Collins wrote a piece entitled “Let’s Call It Trumpvirus. If you’re feeling awful, you know who to blame?” This type of insanity is rampant on both the left and the right when it comes to their political opponents.
One guy wrote to me, “You sound like the idiot in charge. Blame the media for reporting and say it’s driven by profits. Are you studying his play book?” I never blamed the media for reporting or being driven by profits. My criticism of the media was their out of balance approach to the coverage. I’ll get more into that in detail later. But one thing was evident from his comparing me to Trump, he hasn’t listened to me much. I am a huge critic of Trump, didn’t vote for him and I never would. When I was doing my daily talk show on the old radio station in Milwaukee, my boss called me early on in the 2016 campaign and asked me, “Did you really call Trump mentally ill?” To which I responded, “No, Dave, I’m not a psychologist. So, I don’t know if he is mentally ill. But I do know and did say he is clearly manifesting mental illness.” I was humorous and direct throughout the campaign about both Trump and Hillary. I got fired at the second station I worked at in Milwaukee because I was too balanced in my approach, “You’re not liberal enough,” is what the owner of that station said to me while letting me go. During my nearly two years on the radio in the Milwaukee, I was honored to win four Wisconsin Broadcaster Association Awards. So, somebody appreciated some of what I had to say.
“Your above post contradicts many of your other posts and comments,” wrote a Facebook friend. No, they aren’t contradictory. This isn’t a zero sum game. For example, it is NOT contradictory to say, “I support President Trump’s decision to move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or his signing of “The First Step Act”” AND “President Trump is a narcissistic, immature huckster”. For example, being in favor of a women’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy and being against abortion are not necessarily contradictory opinions. How could that be? If you want to know you can listen to my podcast, Sex in the Pews, Episode 42 “Debortion”. It’s called balance, being rational, and having a desire for compromise and solutions—characteristics in short supply these days.
A dear old friend of mine wrote me knowing I was working on this, “Looking forward to reading it, Glenn. Your perspectives are always well thought out and thought provoking, agree or disagree. I’d just urge you not to assume people’s motivations, which is something you’ve veered into more than once here. For example, if you believe media are hyping this in order to boost their profits, show your work… Just friendly suggestions since I know you want to be credible.” He’s right. I do want to be credible. However, more than being viewed as credible (or having people respect me or my work), my drive is to get people to think more for themselves. I am an observer of the human condition. I am an opinion writer and commentator based on my observations. Observations of what? Life and all it entails. History, human tendencies, and yes, data. I am not a researcher nor have a staff or the time to crunch the numbers to back up every opinion, observation or assertion I make. My opinions are credible and have been hard earned (as have yours). If my thoughts help you, that’s great. It’s my goal!
Chapter Two – Information and Motivation
Information is like cherries. Information is nourishment for the soul as cherries are for the body. Cherries are nutritious, delicious and hydrating. But they do have pits. We spit out the pits. That’s how I receive information, like cherries. I benefit from the positive aspects I receive from whatever source. But when I come up against a pit, I’ll “spit it out” because I don’t want to choke and lose the benefit of what was positive. I suggest you approach this in the same way. Look to be nourished and if something seems hard or “pitted”, spit it out and continue on.
Of course, I don’t blame people for not hanging on my every word. That would be silly. However, bringing harsh overarching criticism towards somebody based on a statement or a few posts, without knowing where they are really coming from, is dangerous and what has created the cancel culture we live in today. If one finds a commentator interesting and entertaining, and pays attention to them, you will know where they are coming from literally and figuratively. I could tell you about the backgrounds of many of the commentators I admire and mentioned above. I could explain to you their positions on many issues, some of their family, professional and personal history, too. Similarly, my avid readers and listeners could do the same with me. I don’t yet have as many listeners or readers as my role models. However, the thousands I do have are as precious and as valuable as the millions they have.
In this piece, I am dealing primarily with the critics while presenting my view. I do this because people who are familiar with me wouldn’t have the questions the critics have. My listeners know where I am coming from. I want to be as sure as I can that those who don’t like it (or me) at least know what and why I think the way I do. Why would I care? Why would I take the time? Please read on.
Into my seventh decade on the planet I have worn many hats: son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, student, journalist, broadcaster, camp owner/director, minister, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, life coach and podcaster. I have experienced many successes and many failures. However, regardless of the outcome, my motivation has always been to leave this earth a little better than I found it.
As a camp director, when we would arrive with our campers to a camp site or a wayside I would say to them, “Look around, boys. See how this looks now. It’s going to look better when we leave.” That’s always been my heart. Imperfectly executed too often but it’s why I get up in the morning—to be a blessing to whomever I come across and to myself, too. Because you can’t “love your neighbor as yourself” if you don’t first love yourself. And I do. I love myself and my neighbor, too—all 8 billion of them. People who know me even a bit know this is true. Got this from a reader, “We don’t know each other…Your posts tend to suggest that you love all humans but your thoughts on this topic suggest that you don’t care about anyone but yourself.” Not caring about anyone but myself is exactly the opposite of my heart. I had never heard from him before even though we’ve been friends on Facebook for years. Nothing unusual there. What is unique is that he was well aware of my love for all humans because I post about it so much. Stating broadly that you love everyone is certainly unconventional, isn’t it? That’s not why I do it, though. I convey that message because it is in my heart to do so. The fellow never commented one way or another on those posts. However, it was my unconventional posts on the virus that prompted a critical response. Why would that be? Read on, Macduff.
When I first became a fulltime life coach, I would often get asked, “What exactly does a life coach do”? My stock answer is, “I don’t know about all life coaches, but this one attempts to provoke thought and laughter. Because if you think more and laugh more, you’ll probably have a better day.”
My approach to our current crisis has been no different. My desire has been to help all people within my influence–including myself—because I’m a people, too.
“Very confused about your motivation to instigate, which is exactly what you are doing”, a young man wrote.
I instigate to hopefully cause people to think and laugh. As I said, sometimes folks think you’re contradicting yourself when you present a balanced criticism. I have been accused of being a super liberal, conservative and a Trump supporter—of which I am none of. Far from it. Harkening back to my old sportscaster days, I call and analyze it as I see it. I attempt to be as objective as possible because I just want to help people. I have no personal agenda, political party affiliation, or motivation other than to help folks by causing more thought and laughter except for one. I love and encourage freedom—freedom of thought and action. Additionally, as I approach things with humor, some may think I’m not taking things seriously. Quite the opposite. I know humor is a weapon against stress—our number one killer. When you can laugh at something, it loses some of its power over your soul. You know somebody is healed or getting healthy from a past trauma when they can laugh about it, as traumatic as it may have been. That’s why Charlie Chaplin’s satirical film on Hitler “The Great Dictator” was so important in the 1940s and why Mel Brooks’ Nazi spoofs are so poignant. It points out the absurdity of evil and zaps part of its sway. It’s harder to be afraid of something you are making fun of.
Fear and anxiety are motivators, for sure. However, in my opinion, they are not effective motivators. The other day Governor Cuomo said we will have to get used to another “new normal”. He said that the fear and anxiety will remain. Well, a new normal is always the case. Change is constant, isn’t it? As far as the fear and anxiety? Fuck that shit. I refuse to live in fear and anxiousness. And if I can do it, theoretically anyone can do it. Because I can be about as lame as they come. However, I have determined to not allow my emotions to be ruled by virus, fear or what our political leadership has to say.
Chapter Three: I Suck At Most Things
“Why do you feel you are so much smarter than everyone else?” This from a man I have known since high school.
I am not smarter than everyone else. That’s the point. If a schmuck like me can see through the bullshit that has been perpetrated on the people of this planet in the last couple of months, there is hope!
I suck at most things. Just ask anybody who knows me well. I own it. I even kind of get a kick out of how unhandy I am, how easily I get lost, how loud and inappropriate I can get, how bad I am at numbers, how lazy I can be, I could continue the litany. Like I said, I love myself. To truly love oneself (or anybody else for that matter), you have to embrace the peccadillos with the good shit because that makes up the whole person. So, I am very well of my shortcomings which are legion. Having written that, I am also well aware of my gifts which are few but they are there. And for those few things, like communicating or dealing with a crisis or having a vision of how to creatively deal with a situation or understanding the human condition—there are few better. The way I approach life coaching and what I do and have done for my clients, there is none better. I am sure there are equally as effective life coaches out there but you can’t do better than literally saving someone’s life and see them transformed. Can you? I have done both. But that’s me as a coach. As a “player”? That’s another story.
Players are not coaches and vice versa. It is very rare for a truly great player to also make a great coach. Some have tried like Babe Ruth, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Isiah Thomas to name just a few. They mostly fail because so much comes naturally to great players. The greatest coaches ever like Vince Lombardi, Bill Belichick, Phil Jackson and Joe Maddon were not hall of fame players. Far from it. Generally speaking for great coaches, things did not come naturally for them when they played. They had to hone their skills of observation, concentration and patience to produce at any level. Boy, can I relate. I’ve been a serviceable player in life, if you will. Definitely not a hall of famer. But the coach I have become is worthy of that distinction. Ultimately, it is not about me at all. I would never hold myself up as an example. However, I will hold up the thoughts and modalities I have discovered (which have aided me and thousands of others), plus the experiences I have had and observed in others along the way. Do with them what you will.
So, the answer to “why do you feel you are so much smarter than everyone else” is I do not feel that way. In fact, I know the opposite is the case. However, I do know based on my experience and track record as a camp director, parent, life coach and social commentator I have something positive to contribute.
Chapter Four: Like Lifting Weights
Why would I take the time? Why would I risk people misunderstanding and criticizing me? Because I want to. Plus, it’s how I make my living. Nobody really does anything they don’t want to do, do they? At least you have to want to subconsciously, don’t you?
I want to provoke thought, laughter and to do it professionally. So, I do.
Knowledge is power and laughter is like good medicine—an amazing endorphin releaser. It answers to my heart. It resonates in my soul. I desire to be a blessing. To leave this joint a little better than I found it. That’s why.
Again, I have been accused of not taking this crisis seriously because of the consistent humor I employ or making fun of the absurdity of this all, or by suggesting there may be more effective modalities for us to deal with this than just staying home and shutting down the economy. I share the way I do because I desire to help people manage stress effectively. Knowing the truth will NOT set you free. Knowing the truth will MAKE you free. It’s a process. Stress management techniques and perspectives are at the core of what I do. Poking fun, producing a smile and laughter are huge stress relievers. There is much research to back it up. Other great stress managing tools are clear-headed rational healthy views of sexuality unsullied by the historic ill-effects of religion on society. That’s why I have chosen to do a podcast about it called “Sex in the Pews”.
Effectively managing stress is vitally important in life for health and longevity. We know the number one cause of disease and pre-mature death is mismanaged stress. Research indicates that 70% of all illness is psychosomatic or mismanaged stress effecting the brain. It is not that the illnesses are not real or just in one’s head. It’s just that the heart disease, arthritis, stroke, diabetes, cancer, etc. emanated from stress which was not effectively handled. Often this turns into poor lifestyle choices and decisions which brought on disease. We also know the number one cause of stress is change. Even good change is stressful. And since change is the only constant, and change produces stress, and mismanaged stress is our number one killer, how we cope with change/stress is critical.
Stress is akin to weight training. When one lifts weights properly, with good technique and breathing, with a spotter when perhaps trying to go beyond the weight previously attained, giving one’s muscles proper rest and recovery—one becomes stronger with more endurance and confidence. However, if there is bad technique and a lack of breath and no spotter at a crucial moment—something which can be so beneficial—anaerobic training–could seriously injure, paralyze or kill you. Same thing with mismanaged stress.
So, when this massive change—causing massive stress—called the Coronavirus came along, I knew massive stress management was what was called for. Mature, sober, creative, rational, loving, good humored, balanced, holistic solutions—that is what we needed—all from an understanding of human history and human nature—and I called for them all to be employed in society’s approach to this from the beginning. .
But what did we get?
Initially, we got the Chinese government lying about the virus’ origin and its true impact on their country. Within the context of including the above list of ingredients for an effective societal approach, truth is critical. People do better when they know what they’re dealing with and what tools are available to help them cope. Our media has failed us miserably on this score. More on that later
Basically, there are four segments of society whose leaders need to have their act together in any major worldwide public health crisis: the Governments, the Medical Professionals, the Media and the People.
In general, all four have failed miserably.
Chapter Five: The Governments
China lied and their partner in crime, the World Health Organization, is almost as deceitful and corrupt. Incredibly, people were initially relying on them as credible sources of information and many still are holding them up as an example to the world of having effectively dealt with this. During the Great Chinese Famine from 1959-61, the Chinese government reported 1 million deaths. Eventually it came out that 45 million people had died. Nothing much has changed regarding their transparency and credibility. The Chinese government is fascist and dishonest. They should never have been trusted or relied on.
As diluted as their initial information may have been, the news out of China wasn’t good. It certainly rattled Wall Street. Instead of taking the threat seriously, Trump only saw it in terms of how it could affect him and reelection chances. This is always his knee-jerk response to anything. The Democrats were in the middle of their futile impeachment of Trump. They were asleep at the wheel.
When facing a serious potential crisis, especially a life and death one, it is incumbent upon leaders to calmly, yet very firmly, be extremely cautious in their early statements about it.
When we owned the summer camp, I made it crystal clear to the counselors and staff that at the end-of-the-day we were in the safety and protecting of life business. As much fun as we may have been having, if they ever heard this announcement, “Attention Counselors: Stop whatever you’re doing and listen to this important announcement”, they stopped WHATEVER they were doing because they knew we were in a potential immediate life or safety threatening situation. Thankfully, no one ever died at camp and I did not have to go to “defcon 1” very often. But when I did they know it was potentially very serious.
Leaders should never overplay the crisis card. However, early and extremely strong communication from people in leadership positions is paramount. If it ends up not being such a big deal, a leader can always go back and say, “Because of the potential looming danger we had to make sure everyone was paying attention and taking the proper steps to avoid a calamity. With the danger now having subsided, we can return to our normal activities”. But what did Trump say in the early days when asked if he was concerned? “No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” Wrong, Dummy! He should have been overly cautious in his comments with something like, “We’re having our people, and you know we have the best people of any country (my LOL), looking very closely at what is happening in China because the safety and well-being of the American people is always our top priority.”
Then once the thing started getting out of control and governors like Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo started shutting down their states, and Trump starting seeing them on TV as much as himself, that’s when he started getting concerned.
Trump must have seen one of the talking heads on TV compare this pandemic to a war. Then somebody probably told him that presidents up for reelection in wartime usually win. The next you thing you know he is saying, “This is like a war. I guess I’m now a wartime President”. Then our knucklehead Surgeon General Jerome Adams comes out and says, “This is our Pearl Harbor”. What? When will these guys ever learn? Things called wars that are not wars never end. Just look at the never ending “wars” on: poverty, drugs, gun violence, illiteracy and terrorism. So, now we’re adding a pathogen—a virus—to the list. This is illogical, irrational and with little to no recognition of history and human nature. People’s behavior, societal issues, ideologies and illnesses are not enemies which can be defeated on a battlefield. They must be thwarted one person at a time. And most of the time, overarching government involvement makes it worse or at least creates new problems.
Instead of shutting everything and everybody down, this should have been done much more surgically, and precisely taking EVERYTHING into account. I said all this from the outset of these draconian measures they ended up going with.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially chose to not take such stern measures. He stated his longtime hero was the mayor in the movie “Jaws” who did NOT lead with panic and fear-mongering. Eventually, he caved to the pressure to clampdown before he took ill with the virus.
Sweden and its Prime Minister Stefan Löfven opted for a significantly different approach. The country moved to protect the most vulnerable while doing little to slow the virus through the rest of the population. Most workplaces, restaurants and bars currently remain open. People have been urged to practice social distancing and avoid traveling to help slow the virus’ spread. The government restricted social gatherings to a maximum of 50 people, a revision down from 500 people. Sweden has not seen a mass outbreak like some other European countries like Italy and Spain. However, Löfven was clear-eyed about what they’re looking at. “We have chosen a strategy of trying to flatten the curve and not get too dramatic in the process because then the healthcare system probably will not cope. But this also means that we will have more seriously ill people who need intensive care. We will have significantly more deaths. We will count the dead in thousands.”
Obviously, I can’t speak to most of Sweden’s strategy or how effectively the PM there has communicated with his people. Again, communication being at the heart of the matter. However, if they continue down this road, at least we will have a modern nation to look at in comparison. And it will not just be the number of death due to COVID-19 which will need to be analyzed. More on this later.
Once the thing started manifesting in the U.S. in Washington State (following what should have been Trump’s precursor warning to the nation) and once it was understood who the most vulnerable were to this (the elderly, those with compromised immune systems—especially those with upper respiratory issues, comorbidity, etc., and those who are sick (who might have normally gone to work even thought they were not feeling well)—those should have been the ones ordered to stay home. And their healthy loved ones should have been instructed to stay away from them if at all humanly possible until the tide subsided. The case should have been made that if you are healthy and you get in front of a compromised loved one or friend, and you’re asymptomatid, you literally would be putting your loved ones’ lives at risk.
What did they do instead? They proclaimed that everyone needed to be shutdown–that we were ALL putting EVERYONE at risk by just living our lives!
Now, it is true that if you are not sick and never see anyone (and everyone adheres to the same isolation) disease would have a harder time taking people out. Although there is some evidence that people isolated from each other in an apartment complex in China still saw dozens of people get ill. The theory is that the virus traveled through the plumbing there. Who knows? Those kind of measures would help to stop physical illness.
What about the cost due to mental illness from all this. How will that be measured? More on this coming up.
The world has had pandemics throughout recorded history. However, the approach has always been to quarantine the sick, to separate them from the healthy. This is the first time in history a quarantine has included the healthy with the sick. This makes no sense. The policy of having people stay home, close all “non-essential” business except markets and pharmacies, makes absolutely no common sense. Nobody has been able to explain to me why going grocery shopping is an acceptable risk of spreading the virus but having a meal at the restaurant next door (with similar precautions) is not. I am not saying that food, supplies and medicine are the same as going out and enjoying a nice dinner. However, if you’re working at that restaurant and your income is helping pay for your child’s diabetes medicine, maybe to you it is AS important as the grocery store. Why is generally keeping all people in a community away from each other to avoid a spread, except allowing everyone to all gather in the same place on a regular basis rational at all? In fact, if you wanted TO spread a disease that might be just the approach you would want to take.
Our government leaders have proclaimed things like, “We have to do this now to save lives. Saving lives is what matters right now. What is most important to saving lives is containing the virus so it doesn’t spread so more people don’t die”.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer decreed which goods could and could not be purchased by the citizens in that state. Where is that allowable in either the Michigan or U.S. Constitutions? At a news conference Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “If any non-essential businesses continue to operate in violation of the stay at home order, we’re going to act to enforce the safer at home order and ensure their compliance, You know the old expression about snitches?. Well, in this case, snitches get rewards. We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe.” Read that again if you can.
Contrast Andrew Cuomo’s declaration that “fear and anxiety will remain” with FDR’s “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”. Here are some others for your consideration:
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States vs “I feel your pain.” Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States. “I don’t take responsibility at all…” Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States vs “The buck stops here.” Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States.
What the hell happened to us?
At the Continental Congress in 1776, John Adams, making the case for congress to vote to in favor of independency from Britain, is quoted as saying, “Objects of the most stupendous magnitude. Measures that will affect the lives of millions, born and unborn. We must expect a great expense of blood.to obtain it. But we must always remember, that a free constitution of civil government cannot be purchased at too dear a rate. That there is nothing this side of Jerusalem of greater importance to mankind.”
Please understand, there were several different factions within the country in the late 1700s. There were those in positions of power in the respective colonies who were vehemently against the idea of revolution–primarily for two reasons. It was rebellion against the governmental authorities and dictates (which no decent citizen of the empire would want to be seen as doing) and because of the lives which would be lost. Fortunately for all of us, the likes of Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were accurate, precise and powerful communicators with great vision. Otherwise, the United States may never have been.
Adams and his colleagues knew what a declaration of independency was opening the door to. “Expect a great expense of blood,” said Adams However, freedom was so valued that he added, “there is nothing …of greater importance to mankind.”
After rejecting the strategy of surrender (which was employed by France to appease Hitler in order to save lives), Winston Churchill is quoted having said, “The hell with the French. If they’re not prepared to fight let them give up. I will not allow this country be dragged down a slippery slope. What’s the point of becoming a slave state? Nations who surrender are finished. Those who fight on eventually rise up.” Thankfully, Churchill took over for Neville Chamberlain just in the nick of time.
Where are the world leaders with an ingrained love of freedom, deft communications skills and the courage to not give in to mass fear? Why did this generation facing a curable illness, as opposed to an occupying British Empire or an advancing Third Reich, roll over so easily and give up so many of our freedoms with nary a peep? More on this later.
Chapter Six: The Medical Bureaucracy
There are many reasons people go into their chosen profession. On the two sides of the coin, for those who get into medicine there is a sincere desire to help their fellow travelers and the professional perks which come along with the job. The latter includes respect, prestige, finances and the very human desire for control and power. More on that later, as well.
People often are intimidated by their doctors as if an MD is an oracle of the almighty. But doctors are not infallible. You know how I know that? Because they all carry medical liability insurance.
When our six children were young, we had a terrific pediatrician. Dr. Cohen was a feisty, diminutive Jewish guy. He would block out an entire morning for our crew. So, one year I brought our gang in for their yearly check-up prior to the school year. They were all put in the various examining rooms as I sat out in the waiting room reading a magazine. All of a sudden, Dr. Cohen appears and says, “Klein come here!” He was holding a small stack of manila folders. He said, “You see these? These are the medical files for your six kids. These are NOT medical files for six children. Whatever you’re doing, don’t tell anyone! You’ll put me out of business.”
Now obviously he was kidding and in his own way giving me some props for our kid’s healthy condition. But in all humor lies some truth. I have known many physicians in my lifetime. Almost to a person they are fine people. However, they’re people with the same type of characteristics, weaknesses and penchants for error as the rest of us. Things like self-interest.
Medical school students are required to take a grand total of zero hours on nutrition. Reportedly, 95% of all doctors take vitamins and supplements but only 5% recommend them to their patients. I am not saying they purposely want their patients to not be as healthy as possible or that they consciously were not recommending something for their patients they were finding personally beneficial. But was Dr. Cohen’s joke more indicative of the medical professions underlying view of those under their charge?
We do not have a healthcare system. We have a sick-care system. Most deceases are preventable. Over 50% of cancer is due to lifestyle choices. Again, 70% of illness originates psychosomatically. Why doesn’t our so-called healthcare system, insurance industry and government incentivize healthy behavior, choices and results? People who are fit, have healthy cholesterol, take healthy steps to manage their stress, etc. are not rewarded. Smokers and drunk drivers are punished financially. So, I guess that’s a type of incentive. However, if we were really interested in health and saving lives versus just treating the sick, things would be different. Why is so much of our medicine synthesized when many originate from nature? “Could it be Satan?” No. Just big Pharma.
One thing’s for sure. If more people provided the kind of proactive healthcare for their children the way we did, there would be a lot less sick kids going and seeing doctors. Every morning each of our kids would line up before breakfast to receive a tablespoon of raw flax seed oil and then have their vitamins which were marked with their names on a paper towel based on what they needed, if they could swallow pills, etc. Breakfast always started with fresh fruit. Dawn’s meals were wholesome, heavily plant based and delicious. The kids hated taking the vitamins and make fun of our vegi-centric menu to this day. But they hardly got sick. Parents need to be more educated, understand they’re the adults and not worry so much if they piss their kids off.
Holistic doctors are great resources. Dr. Kevin Branham helped save our son Jacob’s life when he came down with a mysterious upper respiratory illness when he was a week shy of a year old. Sound familiar? After an emergency med flight to the University Hospital in Madison, being intibated, put on a respirator, and spending a week in the ICU—they were never able to identify exactly what he had. He did recover there well enough to be released. But the doctors there (who did a marvelous job saving his life) said that our Jakey would have asthma the rest of his life. I asked, “Where does is say that”? They said an infant going through the kind of upper respiratory trauma he did always results in lifelong asthma. I called Dr. Branham in on the case. He suggested several different herbs for Jacob. Now remember, Jake was just a year old. He could not swallow pills. Dawn and I would open these capsules up, mix them with jelly (it still tasted awful) and make Jake swallow them. He just turned 33. He does not have asthma. Never did.
Highly qualified, educated, dedicated, powerful medical professionals are sometimes wrong. Very wrong.
A few months ago nobody had heard of Dr. Anthony Fauci. Now he is a rock star. The New York Times called him “America’s Doctor”. Here is what Dr. Fauci said about the coronavirus on January 21, 2020, “This is not a major threat to the people of the United States and this is not something that the citizens of the United States should be worried about right now.” Should we have been worrying about it then? No. But we sure as hell should have been making preparations for what was potentially coming our with the corresponding serious communications from our leaders that I previously referred to. Do I blame Fauci for this situation in our country? No. Do I think he is a bad guy? I don’t know him but he seems like a nice guy. To this layman he seems knowledgeable and credible. However, you don’t rise to his level of power and influence without knowing where a few skeletons are buried and knowing how to play the political game. Again, nothing wrong with that. However, he WAS wrong. Dead wrong. Why would anyone trust his guidance without question after that big a boner? At first they told us wearing masks not only wasn’t necessary but wouldn’t help at all. Now they’re saying we should wear them, not because they will prevent the wearer from getting sick but will prevent the spread if someone who is wearing it has the virus. Which is it? We should not be taking medical professionals words as inherent. They’re not and neither is everything they say or think.
About four years ago I was in chronic pain. I interviewed a nutritional physician and author named Dr. Cass Ingram on my daily talk show in the Milwaukee area. I was impressed with him and what he had to say. I made an appointment with him in his Lake Forest, Illinois office. He gave me a thorough examination. Recommended several cannabinoid-based oils and supplements. I began taking them and have improved dramatically. One of them is a high quality raw oregano oil extract called Oreganol. Raw oregano oil is a known pathogen killer. COVID-19 is a pathogen. I have been taking it for years and hardly ever get sick. Believe me I could be way more proactive in my own personal health protocol. Remember, good coach. Player? Sometimes not so much. In any case, I have stocked up on Oregonol for me, my family and clients. Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) should have a bottle of this—just in case. And why not have it? And why are our medical professionals not suggesting it to the public at large?
On the podcast I just did with Dr. Ingram, he told of several people with sever coronavirus like symptoms who went on the Oreganol. They all recovered. Including a pharmacist from Boston who told Dr. Ingram to share his testimony but to please not reveal his identity. He said if they find out how I got well “I’ll lose everything”. Want to know why you haven’t heard about this known pathogen killer before? Ask the Boston pharmacist.
Please feel free to listen to the whole podcast with Dr. Ingram here:
Our country has by and large trusted our medical bureaucrats, almost unflinchingly, like the doctors are hearing these things from on high. They are not.
Here are a few predictions for you. Tragically, about a year from now we are going to start hearing about the increased cancer in our country. The theory will be that this increase in cancer levels were due to the carcinogens in all of the disinfectants people were being exposed to during the Great Coronavirus Shutdown of 2020. News stories will also come across our screens about the increased rates of depression, suicide—mental illnesses of all kinds, obesity, alcoholism, diabetes, child abuse, domestic violence and heart attacks all in the wake of what is happening right now. These will be one day stories, barely make a ripple and will definitely not have a running scoreboard on the news channels keeping track of it all. Then we’ll all just move on in the “new normal”. Why are these looming catastrophes hardly getting mentioned?
Obviously, a COMPLETE shutdown would stop a virus which is communicable. But this has not been a complete shutdown. They have still not answered why going to the grocery store is an acceptable risk for spreading the disease but going to work, while taking similar precautions, is not? I’m not talking about the fact that food is obviously essential. I’m saying as far as the spreading of the virus is concerned. Why do they seem to be only concerned with the lives lost due to COVID-19? Why are they categorizing all deaths under coronavirus when the deceased person may have had three or other comorbid conditions? They don’t do this with pneumonia or the flu? Italy has admitted that the vast majority of cases in the north of the country were senior citizens with multiple other terminal illnesses AND the virus. Are motor fatality victims who had COVID-19 present in their system being counted as coronavirus victims? Why are the only researchers allowed in their labs right now the ones researching possible cures and vaccines for COVID-19? Why are they not taking into account all the people who are not going to their doctor for regular checkups or procedures right now, whose conditions will go undetected until it’s too late? Why are they not being taken consideration? Why are our medical professionals not speaking out in unison about the rampant rise in suicides and domestic violence since this quarantine began? Why, for the first time in history, are we quarantining healthy people with the sick and the most vulnerable?
I don’t know all the answers to these questions. However, I do know these questions should be being asked by more than just a handful of us.
Chapter Seven: The Media
The ones who should be leading the charge on asking the tough questions are those of the fourth estate. But they have been slow to do so. Why? They’re motivated just like we all are, just like our officials in government and medicine—by self-interest. Many got into journalism to report the news, get to the truth and to hold our power-brokers accountable. However, progressively, since Woodward and Bernstein’s reporting of Watergate in the Washington Post led to Richard Nixon’s resignation and Woodward and Bernstein became celebrities in their own right, reporting has gone from a desire to find the truth to so-called gotchya journalism. Out and out adversarial. For example, everyone in Washington knew about JFK’s womanizing. Nobody said a word. Then everything changed when Senator Gary Hart was caught in a liaison and had to drop out of the 1980 presidential race. Under Trump the relationship between the media and the president has become one of adversaries on steroids. Both are at fault.
There is no doubt in my mind, and as I previously stated, Trump’s political enemies in the media saw this as his possible “Katrina moment”. The way the media in general has handled this crisis could be called at best irresponsible and at worst death inducing. Whether it be the preponderance of what Trump dangerously calls “fake news” or the right-leaning FOX News, the coverage could only be described by the news businesses own unofficial motto: “If it bleeds, it leads”.
Can you imagine if every flu season they would have the same kind of tote board about those infections, deaths state-by-state, etc., that they have been running on all the major news channels about this virus? There would be mass hysteria just like now. It’s human nature. Why do you think they have the scary graphics and horror-film like music coming in and out of segments the way they do? For the same reason scary movies, murder mysteries and violence are so popular. Subconsciously, people want to be scared, afraid. And the media know it.
When this thing hit, and they started with the wall-to-wall coverage with the scoreboard of death as if it was a stock market tally or sports scores—and people started being glued to their TVs—there was still other news happening in the world. However, you would have never known it by the coverage. It was as if the whole world stopped living, that there was nothing else happening other than a virus with a high cure rate. Editors and producers make decisions everyday what they are going to cover and what they are going to ignore. If it bleeds, it leads? Absolutely. However, apparently this wasn’t such a huge crisis that they couldn’t profit from it and continue to run their commercials and seemingly even a great number of them buoyed by their increased viewership. As there often is in society generally, there certainly was a herd mentality as a stampede of conformity in coverage swept through the media from the beginning.
And have you noticed all the new, coronavirus-related ads? Some of those certainly got recorded, acted, and produced somewhere from people not staying home and staying safe. Why have the networks continued to work unabated? Surely, a state-run hourly update of death, restrictions and regulations could be sufficient to inform the public. Why are commercial news networks, who are absolutely profiting from the crisis, considered essential but your business is not? That is unless somehow it can be deemed essential to the “war on coronavirus”. Why are the media the media not pointing out the eerily use of the term “essential worker” and how it was used to determine to who could live another day to work or be shipped off in cattle cars to the concentration camps during World War II?
The other day I was pondering this and was doing some channel surfing. I came across “Schindler’s List” and clicked on it. The scene which was playing was when the Nazis were starting to empty out the Jewish ghetto in Krakow, Poland. The scared cooperating Jewish people were lined up to have the SS officers, (their authorities) tell them if what they did was essential or not. A man who was being put on a truck said to the officer who had just condemned him to death, “Sir, I have been a history and literature professor for thirty years. You clearly don’t know what the word essential means.” I wept.
All these years of commenting on politics and social trends I have recoiled and resisted comparing anything and anyone to the Nazis or Hitler—regardless of who was in power. I said this type of hyperbole was counterproductive to whatever cause one was espousing, that it was, illogical, historically ignorant and disrespectful to the victims of second world war. I cannot say that anymore. Whether in the media or the public at large, the very people who joined the so-called “resistance” when Trump was elected have been at the forefront of adhering to the most drastic, measures, perhaps in history, which have suspended our civil liberties. What were they “resisting” then if not this? Trump’s political enemies like Governors Newsom and Cuomo have applauded Trump and vice versa as they have clamped down on society to “save lives” .I haven’t heard anyone in the media even point to the irony and paradoxical nature of this.
When I started raising red flags about this from the very start, somebody said I was a pussy. That I couldn’t stay home just a few days without whining about. It wasn’t staying home I was concerned about it. I am home almost always, anyway. I work from home and don’t go out that much. But what I was trying to alert people to was the danger of just bending over and taking this and what it could lead to. Yesterday, the county I reside here near Tampa—Hillsborough—placed into effect a 9 PM – 5 AM curfew. Violators can be fined $500 and thrown in jail for 60 days. At about 11 PM I went to my community dumpster to throw out my garbage. The silence in the neighborhood was deafening. Nobody was out. Nobody was driving. Then this thought hit me. Could I be arrested for being outside my home throwing away trash? And a wave of fear, nausea and anger washed over my soul. I had to going into a meditation to rid myself of it.
Where are our information and media leaders right now? Understandably, nobody wants to look insensitive or ask the hard questions or have the channels turned off or their profits cut into and their livelihoods lost. The power brokers in this country—the media, the government, the medical establishment, academia, the lobbyists, etc.—they’re not waiting on their measly $1200 shut-the-fuck-up money transfer. Their jobs are not being threatened. They’re not going to lose everything. But they may get a life-threatening virus. So, we can close everything down so they can live and pick up right where they left off relatively speaking on the other side of this?
No wonder the media has gone along for the ride. They’re part of the problem. The elite in this country not giving a fuck about “flyover” country, the rampant disrespect of middle America, lower income and lower educated and religious people—reflected in the media—is what gave rise initially to Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and eventually to Trump. And it’s why he’s going to be reelected. I saw a meme of a potential Trump campaign poster last year. It was quite well done. At the top it said Trump 2020. Then below a more than acceptable picture of “the first orange President” in US history. Then underneath that it said, “Because Fuck You Again!”
There is little doubt in my mind that Trump’s haters in the media ramped this up once the virus hit in hopes of it being his downfall. And we have recorded proof of some of that. FOX News obviously has an excellent business model and knows oh so well how to tap into the fear of his supporters, conservatives and America in general.
If they really wanted to serve the public, they would have been reporting the news and information about the virus, without the over-the-top fear-mongering graphics and music, mix in the other news around the country and world as they normally do, and add to their long list of infectious disease experts and politician talking heads mental health and stress management experts to help people with the massive change and stress which was imposed on us overnight. But what did the media do in general? What they always do. They put Rahm Emanuel’s famous quote into action. “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Government officials around the planet embraced that, too, and so did the medical industrial complex. But what about the folks?
Chapter Eight: The Public
When I was in high school, our synagogue held a holocaust education weekend for our youth group in which I attended. We all met in the community hall to begin our time together. One of our teachers stood up in front of the group and welcomed us. He said we had a lot to do, that it would be a very busy couple of days. Since we would be there all weekend, he said they wanted to make sure all of our personal belongings like the girls’ purses and the guys’ wallets would be protected (there were no cell phones back then). So, they passed around a box for us to put our stuff in for safekeeping. They told us they would return our things to us after the weekend. For some reason, that request didn’t jive with me. I kept my wallet and watch.
After the box made its way around the room, they placed it at the front. The teacher said, “That was your first lesson of the weekend. See how easy it was for us to get your belongings from you? We are the authority. We told you that we were taking you things for your own good. You believed us because you were raised to trust authority. So were the Jewish people of Germany and Europe.”
I was the only kid who didn’t give up his stuff.
Generally speaking, I was never very good at following the rules. This has not always been the most effective way to live, but that’s just how it was. Still, I would have to say overall this approach has redounded to my benefit and those who have been under my leadership.
I was always drawn to causes and perspectives that were not particularly popular with the masses—to men and women who questioned the status quo. For instance, people like the late great George Carlin. I vividly remember my Mom dropping me and my buddy Scotty Davis off to see George at Mill Run Theater in Niles, Illinois before we could drive. I snuck in a cassette tape player to record the show. Here is what George had to say later in his career over two decades ago about American society.
“It’s just one more way of reducing your liberty and reminding you they can fuck with you anytime they want as long as you put up with it. Because that’s what Americans do now. They’re always willing to trade away a little of their freedom in exchange for the feeling, the illusion of security. What we have now is a completely neurotic population obsessed with…cleanliness and hygiene and germs…Where did this sudden fear of germs come from? The media constantly running stories about all these infections…. Americans panic easily. So everybody is running around scrubbing this and spraying that and repeatedly washing their hands trying to avoid all contact with germs. It’s ridiculous and goes to ridiculous lengths.”
Those were his brilliant observations of this country TWENTY ONE YEARS AGO! How much more true are they now?
How did we go from “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” to “Staying Home Saves Lives”?
I think a lot has to do with the significant improvement and relative ease of just living over the last 100 years or so compared to what people throughout history dealt with. For them daily survival was not a sure thing. Often they didn’t even know where their next meal was coming from. We humans are inclined to get lazier the easier things become. Our thousands of years’ focus went from, “will we survive?” to “keeping up with the Jones’”. We began finding our identity in what people think of us and living vicariously through our children. The phenomenon of the “helicopter parent” emerged.
A significant group of adults decided at some point that nothing bad should ever happen to their children. So, here came helicopter parenting, hovering over their kids, not letting them out of their sight to play. We started giving out participation trophies just for showing up because no one should ever lose. “Safe places” in colleges and universities were no one’s feelings should be hurt or challenged came into vogue . The next thing you know, an entire planet is willing to except the words of their “parents” (the government, medical and media authorities) that everything will be safe, that they will live, if they just listen and obey. Fuck that shit.
Memo to all the beautiful humans on the planet Earth: We’re all going to die. It sucks but it is a universal truth. The question is, how do you want to live your life between now and then?
Egyptian Nobel Prize Winner for Literature Naguib Mahfouz said, “Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life.” Truer words have never been penned.
When this thing all started, and we had been “sheltering in place” for just a few days, I posed the question on social media, “If the authorities told you that living like this would save lives for the rest of your life, would you be willing to do it?” Scores of comments followed. Very few people actually answered the question. Almost to a person, the ones who did answered “no”. The others generally went into argumentative mode making the case for the shutdown, some in angry fashion. Later I was speaking with an old and trusted advisor. He was bemoaning the fate of the poor work-a-day guy like the servers, bartenders and busboys who he would see almost daily while out dining. I asked him the above question about staying home forever. His response was, “If it would save my life? Yes, I would.” He answered honestly. After he answered my question I asked him, “But what about all those people you were just feeling bad about, who depend on your business to feed their families?” He said, “I didn’t think of it that way.” I know him well. He is a great guy, a very generous soul. He is living a terrific life. He thinks about death a lot. He does not want to die. Who does?
Years ago one of my best friends went back to his hometown where his parents were buried and purchased a plot next to them. He bought a casket and planned his will and funeral—and he was healthy as the proverbial horse. He is a teacher and philosopher by trade. For some reason he decided to be quite proactive about all of his post death arrangements at that time. When we were talking about the experience of it all he said, “Glenn, you can’t imagine how hopeful and positive this made me feel. There is something powerful for the human soul about facing and accepting the inevitable”.
I embraced that truth immediately and have found it immeasurably beneficial. The current situation is a case in point. Embracing the inevitable reality of my future death has been incredibly empowering going through this. So, too, has been the knowledge that I have many children and a large extended family who are in harm’s way all the time. You know how I know that they’re in danger? Because they’re on the planet! When I consider something could happen to any of my loved ones at any time and become tempted to worry about it, I change my thoughts to, “Yes that is possible and really sucks. But I know we would get through it somehow.”
When I am saying goodbye to a loved one before I fly somewhere, often I will say, “Just in case my plane goes down, know that I love you.“ Many times I have heard in response, “Don’t say that!” As if my saying it will somehow effect the outcome. I say it because at that moment I am embracing the inevitable possibility that I could go down in a plane crash. Doing that releases much of fear’s power over me. I know flying is very safe. That’s why I am willing to do it. But there still is a chance I could die by doing it. Similarly, anyone could die from COVID-19. But the chances are remote if one takes proper precautions even without social distancing. So, why did so many people respond in such fear? Because they don’t want to die or see the friends and family die? Yes. But also because they have not accepted the ultimate inevitably of dying—not from the virus but just in general.
One of the comments which came across my feed was, “A healthy dose of fear is warranted here.” I replied that what was warranted is “wisdom, insight, calm, historical perspective and general knowledge, many sources of information, preparation, be proactive…I could go on and on. Fear is a motivator. Just not a healthy one.” His response was “I completely disagree”.
I am not saying I never get fearful, not at all. But when does anybody who is panicked, scared, and freaked-out ever respond as effectively compared to when they are calm and contemplative?
My friend who made his post death plans, who taught me the power of embracing the inevitable, is deathly allergic to bee stings. After he embraced this truth and starting teaching it, he was stung by a bee. His throat closed-up. He felt he was dying. He told me that a peace came over him at that moment. He was able to gather himself and retrieve an epipen. Instead of fear overtaking him, calmness is what took him. It probably saved his life. That happened in an instant. In the case of this pandemic and our response to it, we have all had plenty of time to consider how are we going to respond with fear or with confidence with panic or intelligence? Are we can to take the word of those in authority because they’re the authority? Or are we going to examine their track record and those of their predecessors at historic moments like these?
After reading my comments supporting a more level-headed approach than “a healthy dose of fear”, my Facebook friend could have said something like, “I can hear that” or could have just not responded. But what did he say? That he COMPLETELY disagreed. Why do people oppose things so much easier and naturally than demonstrating support? It goes back to why the media covers murder, mayhem, scandal, etc., so much more than the positive, uplifting things of life. Human nature is dominated (and motivated) by the negative, that’s why. Negativity, fear, guilt, accusation, judgment, condemnation, and hate come so naturally to us as a species. One has to work really hard to overcome all those very natural inclinations to be negative in order to be positive. Historically and genetically, there are many reasons we human beings go negative so easily. As long as this blog already is, those reasons can (and have) filled volumes. Can we agree that humanity’s response to danger, differences and enemies has generally not been like Ghandi’s, or MLK’s or Mandela’s?
When our first kids were very young, I noticed that I had no problem remembering to correct them. However, I really struggled in being as consistent in praising them—in reinforcing their positive behavior. I realized I needed to train myself to be more affirming and positively reinforcing with them. So, I developed a “camp-like” positive reinforcement strategy for them which I called “The Nickel Ceremony”. It worked like a charm for both them and me. If you want to know the specifics of the strategy, I’ve spoken a lot about it in my podcast. You can hear all about it there or feel free to contact me personally. I would be happy to explain it all in detail to your in person. Suffice it to say, our home and family to this day is generally one motivated by love, support, fun, joy and a relative lack of fear, judgment and condemnation.
As previously stated, I would never hold up MYSELF as a role model to emulate. I am not a great man. However, I have embraced and activated great thoughts and modalities. Why have many others not? Again, too long a philosophical discussion for here. I will point out, however, two major human tendencies which are always in play. This is why I think so many of my critics responded to my public approach to the pandemic the way they have.
- “The Grass is Always Greener Syndrome’
- Everything in Life is about Power and Control.
We humans want what we can’t have. Additionally, if there are two things we know, at least subconsciously, is that we do not have much control and power in life. If this moment of human history proves anything, it proves that. But we don’t need a worldwide pandemic and economic shutdown to understand that. It is evidential that the most important things that ever happened to us, we had absolutely no control of or power over. Things like: what sex we were born, what our hair and eye color would be, to what family and birth order we’re born into, what our height would be, what our body shape is, what age of history were born, what socio-economic level we were raised in, what country we were born in, what our IQ will be, what pre-existing immune challenges we will face, etc., etc. But we want what we can’t have so badly! So, we spend our lives seeking out ways to have control and power and/or ways to be controlled and empowered. The people that are most desirous of control, the “control freaks”, pursue life’s path, choices and careers with this in mind, at least they do subconsciously. I was one of them. But I changed my mind about 20 years ago. Now I make deliberate decisions to release people from control and guilt and judgement and fear. Now instead of secretly wanting to control other people because of my own insecurity and fear, I want to influence folks to walk in as much freedom and independence as their heart desires. Again, please DO NOT look to me as an example. But feel free to look to at the perspectives I hold dear.
I have little doubt that what motivated people to respond to me (and the way they did) was because they are operating out of what comes natural to we humans—to be negative and to seek some form of control and power, especially when feeling so out of control and power like so many of us do right now. Many were former campers of ours who are now grown men. They had the opportunity to take a potshot at their old camp director who once, however positively or benignly, lorded his authority over them at summer camp.
“I’m 44 and technically I have a pre-existing condition. But I’m probably healthier than a lot of people my age. I’m kind of surprised by your position, Glenn. We don’t know each other. My parents paid for me to go to a camp you ran 30 years ago. I remember you as a camp owner. I was too young to know if you were a leader, but you were certainly in a position of authority. I was 10, so whatever. I’m sure you’ll think I’m some out of touch moron but to all the people I come in contact with up north, you sound unbelievable selfish and out of touch. Your posts tend to suggest that you love all humans but your thoughts on this topic suggest that you don’t care about anyone but yourself. It’s shocking how different out experiences are. I wish you well and hope you don’t get sick.”
Again, we had been Facebook friends for a long time. And he’s right, I do love ALL people and convey that fact frequently in my various modes of communication. But I never once heard a positive (or negative) word from him over the years about my sharing all the love. However, it was at this moment (and in the above way) he chose to reconnect with me after all these years. His was one of many who responded like this. Even some who DO actually know me, my heart and and who love me responded similarly.. Sadly, they, too, were being dominated in their thoughts and emotions by negativity, fear and a desire to find some control somewhere. I have been called names. People have told me to go fuck myself. My motivation and integrity have been maligned. I had to make the conscious decision to not attempt to retake a false sense of control by firing back at them. And I was largely successful in doing so.
“I mean this with all of my heart Glenn, I just hope you don’t have to face the loss of loved ones because some asymptomatic carrier refused to stay home for a few weeks – or a couple months – and went out and infected at risk people.”
I got so many of these type of comments at the end of a sometimes contentious conversation. It was as if they were suggesting that my questioning this whole thing would somehow put my loved ones in jeopardy. It was as if they were trying to scare me into submission by an implied threat of death to myself or loved ones. But I won’t submit to pursing truth and articulating it as best I can because of fear, guilt or condemnation.
Please let me be as clear as I know how. I don’t want ANYONE to die or suffer from anything! Sadly, that’s not the real world or reality, though, is ii?
One of my frequent critics, who knew I was going to write this, gave me a directive to not ascribe others’ motivations in how they responded to me or the crisis as he claimed I have done in the past. Obviously, I have little to no specific understanding of what motivates any given individual, how their own personal life experience has informed them. Many don’t know themselves. I suck at so much but there are a few things I have great expertise with. One of them is understanding general human nature and what generally motivates most humans. And I just wrote about it.
Chapter Nine: In Conclusion
Do with these words what you will. Reject them. Reject me if you want. I wrote them to help, to be a blessing.
I have little doubt of humanity’s ultimate end result. Like John Lennon, I can imagine a world without religion, without a concept of a heaven or hell, no need for property, slavery, even national borders. We clearly are not there, yet. When will this be? I have no idea. Perhaps in 500 or a 1000 years from now this planet will be a much different kind of place..
In the meantime, we do well to deal with where we are currently at in human development, under a constitutional government, understanding human nature, tendencies, motivation—all from a rational, logical, loving pursuit of the common good.
This pandemic (and our corporate response to it) has sucked in so many ways. So, too, will be the ripple effect coming for all the reasons I gave and more. The resulting shit storm that’s coming from how this was handled will likely and unfortunately be worse than the virus. That’s the one side of the coin.
The other side demonstrates how truly unified this world can be when motivated.
Won’t it be great when we begin to universally be motivated by hope rather than fear, by our oneness rather than division, love rather than hate?
I wholeheartedly concur with Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”
Ultimately, I am nothing but optimistic for the human race. What happens between now and the time our own time on the planet is over will have a lot to do with the decisions and attitudes we take on right now.
Let’s do it together, in mutual respect, purpose and love.
Now go wash your hands.
Love you people!