I have met the enemy and it is us

I’m on a cruise from Venice, Italy to Athens, Greece and the one thing that traveling surely does for one is give them an opportunity to observe both themselves and others. With that in mind, I find myself wondering why is it that we seem both to be so ignorant about so many important issues and, even worse, to be committed to staying ignorant? Now that I have your attention, hopefully, please consider the following.

Statistics show that fully 1/3rd of the people in the USA are overweight. Yet, if you watch people at the buffet, as I have done, it’s always the heaviest people that take the most unhealthy food. If you’re one of the 1/3rd, do you look in the mirror? Do you not know that you’re overweight and unhealthy? You can’t seriously be ignorant of the fact that your eating and lifestyle aren’t healthy, so why do you choose to stay ignorant?

We really don’t have a healthcare crisis in this country, we have a health crisis in this country and hardly anyone is talking about it. In fact, we have entire industries seemingly committed to keeping us unhealthy. Does anyone seriously think a can of soda pop is good for you? Yet Coca Cola and others continue to crank those cans out. Does milk really do a body good? Does any other animal on the planet other than human beings drink the milk of another animal? The fact of the matter is that there isn’t anything you can put in your body that’s unhealthier than dairy products but that doesn’t stop the industry from producing them.

And let’s talk about drugs. There has never been a drug created that doesn’t have potentially serious side effects. But when you go to the doctor, does he coach you on regaining your health and taking steps to cure what ails you? Rarely, if ever. All western medicine is about treating, not curing, and all treating is drug related. One day this will hopefully be criminal but today, the drug industry is a multi-billion dollar behemoth that has taken over our lives. Do we really think we’re getting healthier as a result? I’m sure we’re not ignorant, but are we committed to staying ignorant?

And now that I’ve ragged on the health issue, let’s talk about the fact that people in the USA are mostly unhappy. 1/3rd of the country is on anti-depressants. There are more drugs and anti-depressants sold in the USA than the rest of the world combined. And there’s no place where we’re unhappier than at work. I previously reported the results of the latest Gallup poll. Of the 100 million full time workers, 50 million are “checked out” at work and another 20 million are actively disengaged. We surely can’t be ignorant of the facts, there they are. But is anyone trying to do anything about it or are we committed to being like the Ostrich with its head in the sand and staying ignorant?

I just don’t get it. What has happened to us? Have we stopped caring, about ourselves, and each other? We laugh when we think that people used to think the world was flat or that if you tried to run a mile in 4 minutes your heart would explode. In those days, people were ignorant but didn’t realize they were ignorant so I can excuse them. But today? All the information is out there. I recently saw a movie entitled Sick, Fat and Almost Dead. Great movie about a man who was each of those things and lost well over 100 pounds and then coached a man who lost well over 200 pounds. And then there are some really great books available like The China Study which is discussed in another great movie Forks Over Knives.

If you’re not totally healthy, the information is out there. There’s no longer an excuse for being ignorant. The real problem is that people seem to be committed to staying ignorant. I once asked a man who had quadruple bypass surgery if he changed his eating habits as a result. His answer: I’m not giving up my barbecued ribs! Amazing.

There are 10’s of millions of people who have diabetes, the most easily curable disease we have. All it really takes is a change in one’s diet and you can be cured in as little as a week. But nobody wants to change their diet. They want to do what they please and then run to the doctor for drugs. It’s almost unbelievable to me. We’re ignorant and committed to staying that way.

And for the 70 million of you who work for or run companies where people are checked out or actively disengaged, those are the facts. You can’t claim ignorance. But are you committed to staying ignorant? There are solutions, we see them every day. Have you stopped caring, about yourself, about your fellow human beings? I just don’t understand.

We’re on an unsustainable path and you all know it, at least I hope you do. We need to wake up and start seriously addressing these issues or we will ultimately face some even worse consequences.

Now what are you going to do about this? I suspect I will have more unsubscribes than ever before because I’m sure I’ve offended many of you who, if I have done so, choose to stay ignorant. For the rest of you, let’s start a dialog about what we can do to start confronting and resolving these issues. I truly welcome your comments and suggestions.