Information or Confusing Opinions?
Are the "everyone must decide for themselves"
health educators doing you a service or a disservice?
If you haven't
noticed, there is a wealth of information out there regarding diet
and lifestyle practices, and much of it is contradictory. Health
educators fall into two basic categories: those who want to uncover
the truth (though the heavens may fall) and want to share that empowering
knowledge with as many people as they can, and those who want to
gather up all the viewpoints, opinions, and philosophies and present
them to as many people as they can, saying, "The bottom line
is that you've got to decide for yourself".
But when you
think about it, the first category health knowledge seekers
turned health knowledge educators aren't implying that you
must follow their teachings (well, at least not the sincere ones
anyway); they feel the same way as those in category number two,
that the final decision is your decision, and nobody can or should
make it for you. The difference between those two categories of
educators is: one is honestly interested in getting to the truth
of the matter, and one is not. One cares more about helping to lessen
the plague of degenerative disease that has been thrust upon many
of us, and one cares more about amassing a huge email list.
This may sound
like a harsh criticism, and there may be those who simply want to
report the opinions of people in the health-creation community,
just as an objective, dispassionate, unbiased news reporter would.
But if doing so leaves you thinking, "I am so darned confused
now; one minute I think vegan is best, but then it looks like I
should start eating organic animal products, and I'm not sure if
they should be raw or cooked, or if high-fat and low-carbs is best
or if low-fat and high-carbs is best... What do I do?"
is the "reporter" in this case doing you a disservice
by presenting you with information that is so conflicting, and therefore
confusing, that it is impossible to make sense of it from the information
given? Maybe a "reporter of news" is not what you want;
maybe the findings of an investigative journalist are what
would serve you best.
Yes, there are
a lot of people who would love to listen to tons of debates and
conflicting info so they can weed through it all as a good
researcher would so they can come to an educated decision
on how best to live their life (this was me 30 years ago). But what
about those people who don't have the wherewithal to do this; the
folks who need to hear the opinions of sincere, well-educated health
advocates whose mission is to unearth the realities of health, and
to present them in a clear, down-to-earth, and fathomable fashion.
Aren't those people often confused into indecision by all the contradictory
information? And considering that a confused mind usually maintains
the status quo, and that the status quo usually leads to a diagnosis
of a serious disease down the road, I think we need more sincere
investigative journalists in the health creation arena, and less
entrepreneurial marketing-oriented folks.
investigative reporters try to ferret out the truth. So you would
think that those health educators who bring you contrasting viewpoints
will wrap up their reporting by saying one of two things: "The
reason there are so many differing views on diet is because there
is no one diet for everyone; everyone has different dietary requirements."
Or that they would say instead, "The reason that there are
so many different dietary recommendations is because of human nature's
tendency towards personal preferences, biases, hidden agendas, believing
what we'd rather believe, believing what sounds good to us, accepting
misinformation as the Gospel truth, erroneous conclusions due to
misinterpreted results, and believing what we've learned from others
who we like and admire... none of which necessarily gets you to
the truth, which is that all human beings are designed for the same
diet, but that we may simply need to transition to that diet as
individuals." But this means that, at the very least, the
investigative journalist would need to have an opinion as to whether
or not there is one correct diet for all humans, or that we all
need different diets based on our genetics, blood type, hair color,
or metabolism. And to say to their viewing public, "You decide"
does a disservice to all those who are looking for answers, as demonstrated
by all the "I'm more confused than ever" comments, like
the one mentioned above.
And there is
another thing to keep in mind when listening to investigative journalists.
What if the investigative journalist, after being exposed to tons
of contradictory information regarding diet, decides to tell you
that there is no one diet that is correct for everyone, and that
everyone should do whatever works for them? That would be great
if, in reality, this was true. But what if it wasn't? What if this
is incorrect? What if this investigative journalist has an agenda
that you don't know about. He or she may sound very sincere and
well-intentioned, but if the conclusions drawn by this individual
are influenced by "marketing forces", this can be worse
than listening to a news reporter who presents you with all the
information and leaves it up to you to decide what's what; you may
come to the correct conclusion, and therefore following it, you'll
be the better for it. But if you embrace the incorrect conclusions
of an investigative journalist, doing so will not be in your best
For more information
about dealing with conflicting information and controversies, treat
yourself to the article at health101.org/art_conflicting
In your quest
for knowledge, it is good to look to many sources of information.
But to avoid confusion, these sources should resonate with a singular
philosophy that supports your health creation goals. The approach
I use, called Natural
Hygiene (the study of the science of health), is the closest
thing I've found, not just to true and correct information, but
to a way of looking at life from a perspective that allows maximal
creation of health, optimal healing, and above all, fosters an intellectual
atmosphere that allows you to distinguish the info that makes sense
from the non-sense.
And in your
quest for knowledge, it may help you to know how best to parse all
the information that you will run into. I'd recommend that you take
in the info as a researcher and not as a student. Researchers don't
merely accept what is said as the Gospel truth; researchers seek
to verify what they hear, and they ask questions. Students ask questions
too, but they are usually questions of clarification; students do
not usually question basic premises or question their instructor,
in general they accept what they are taught. This is fine if 100%
of what is being taught is accurate, but what if only 90% is accurate?
A researcher can separate the true from the untrue. But if being
a student is the best you can do right now, at least be a researcher
when it comes to finding a teacher.
So if you experience
confusion, take that as a sign that you are standing at the gateway
of freedom, and that the clarity you seek is now within your grasp.
Talk over your confusion with others who are on the same path as
you, and eventually a light that makes perfect sense will appear
out of the disordered darkness. Keep perseverance close at hand,
and keep moving forward with your quest for the truth.
What Works For You?
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