If there’s one thing I am pretty certain of, it’s that there are a lot of ‘sacred cows’ in this world. The dictionary defines a sacred cow as “an idea, custom, or institution held to be above criticism. There it is – “held to be above criticism”. So when criticism (questioning, challenge, or any of its other cousins) is aimed at one of these ‘cows’, you can expect repercussions.
I have, with the publishing of my new book ‘Reboot Yourself!‘, ploughed my way through an entire herd, no doubt raising many hackles along the way and setting myself up as a target. This year celebrated the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, and one of the eeriest images I have is the rain of arrows launched simultaneously from the long bows of hundreds of soldiers. I fully expect to have put myself in the path of ‘slings and arrows’ from many directions, and the age of the internet makes it possible for hundreds to send their arrows in relative anonymity behind the shields of their computers.
Why would I do this? Why would anyone willingly and knowingly put himself or herself in the line of fire? Why, indeed. I spent a significant part of my life stuck in a healthcare paradigm that not only did not know how to diagnose or treat my illness, but that quite likely has unknowingly contributed to it. I watched as the same happened to my parents and to others that I love. From inside that paradigm, it’s hard to see its weaknesses. From outside that system, using a different lens, it’s possible to see it for its true strengths as well as its very real limitations. With that different lens, it’s possible to find new opportunities for healing, for reeling back the downward spiral of chronic illness, for averting suffering, for teaching each other how to create a healthier future, for remembering our evolutionary roots and our connection to all that is around us. That is worth putting myself on the line for – a purpose that is worth my time, one that just might make my life matter a little more.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet wondered if it is nobler to “suffer” the slings and arrows or “take arms” against these misfortunes – to put up with them or to do battle. Maybe there’s another way: dialogue, self-experimentation, respectful choice to engage or not, or any number of other possibilities that have nothing to do with ‘for’ or ‘against’. Maybe we find our way out of the health quagmire we’re in together. My book is my first step into this engagement. Wanna play?