The Sad, The Happy, and The Absurd

Today we explore the sad, the happy, and the absurd.

Here is a note I received from a colleague of mine Dr. Dennis Perman


Sadly, we say goodbye to Robin Williams, a multi-faceted Hall of Fame talent who unfortunately caved to the pressure of being himself. Though he had drug abuse and depression problems along the way, he was sober when he took his own life, ostensibly because he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and could not face the challenge of his faculties deteriorating. His work was extraordinary, his loss is immeasurable.

Happily, we celebrate the accomplishments of Mo’Ne Davis, a thirteen year old young lady who happens to throw a 70 MPH fastball most young men cannot hit. Starring for Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons in the Little League World Series, she is blazing trails for women athletes with her vision of breaking the gender barrier in Major League Baseball, and earning our respect with her grit, her determination and her raw natural ability. Against world class competition, she’s mowing down batters and throwing shutouts.

Now, the absurd – best-selling medicine Lipitor is under siege, this time being sued by women who claim that Pfizer hid data that showed the danger of females taking statins like Lipitor increasing their risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Pfizer apparently knew the odds but did not inform the public effectively, and the legal machine is starting to whirr into action.

Why is this absurd, and not sad? The crazy notion that spanking Big Pharma for their transgressions would change anything significantly is nothing more than a wish by naturalists like us who would love to see the balance of power shift away from outside-in allopathic intervention, toward inside-out health and wellness methodology. In reality, such lawsuits are a cost of doing business – if Pfizer makes a hundred billion on a product and has to pay three or four billion back in reparations, they are still way ahead.

No, the way to deal with bad medicine is All-American – we need to vote with our feet and our money. Only a grass roots effort, where knowledgeable and educated health care consumers decide of their own volition when and when not to use such substances and instead choose healthy lifestyle habits, which would allow us to know who really needs how much medication, will resolve this seemingly insurmountable issue.

We can reminisce about Robin Williams, and applaud Mo’Ne Davis – but the back story is that Williams fought chemical dependency, and that Davis has yet to face the prejudices that confront women trying to win at a man’s game. This Lipitor story illustrates both – the need to break free from the iron claw of drugs, and the tipping point where women will step up and no longer settle for less than they really deserve.

It will take courage, resilience and personal power — and ultimately, our success depends on how we show up and what we do, not on the influence of special interests or the whims of an impressionable marketplace. There is opportunity to understand, appreciate and exploit the delicate and difficult time in which we live – let’s pay attention to the clues being left for us, and respond accordingly.