The tragedy that took place Jan. 7 in Paris at the French satirical newspaperCharlie Hebdo has rocked the world. At the core is our right to freedom of speech. 12 people total were gunned down all because they were exercising their freedom of speech which this extremist group found offensive. The newspaper had received many threats over the years and in spite of those threats continued to exercise their freedom of speech. 10 were cartoonists and writers and 2 were policemen paid the ultimate price for this sacred freedom of speech.
How does this relate to all of us and what can we do personally ?
I have been doing a lot of thinking about that very question. My conclusion is that every time we don’t speak up when our gut is telling us to do so, we lose ourselves. When we are silent for fear of what someone else will think, we lose ourselves. When we think that someone else’s opinion is more valuable than our own, we lose ourselves. When we witness a wrong but are scared to rock the boat we lose ourselves. I am speaking from experience.
There was a time when I had lost my voice. As hard as that may seem now.
And when I found it, I made a promise to myself that I would learn from that and not repeat it ever again. Courage is taking action in spite of fear.
The bigger fear is losing yourself.
So I encourage you to speak up, tell the truth. There was a time when Chiropractic was illegal because it wasn’t recognized as a science. There were chiropractors who graduated and their state deemed it was illegal to practice Chiropractic and they went to jail for helping sick people get well. It is so hard to believe that now but it was only 50 years ago. They were the trailblazers that knew in their gut that what they had to offer was valuable to their patients. They were not going to be silenced. They were willing to go to jail for their profession. And some of them did. I can remember older patients telling me they were “afraid” to tell their doctors that they were also treating with a chiropractor. It was hard to grasp that as a young graduate but I heard it many times.
By losing their voice because they were afraid of what their doctor would say they were losing themselves. I encouraged them that THEY, the patient, THEY knew their body better than anyone. And that if they were doing better because of Chiropractic care it was their duty to educate their doctor. It has been empowering to see patients stand up for themselves and decide what is best for them. After all, that is what our goal is – to do what is best for the patient.
Je suis Charlie. You make a difference. Don’t ever forget that.