Posts Tagged ‘vets’

People and Ponies

June 26th, 2011

I’ve been periodically volunteering my weekend time to help establish an equestrian healing center where the horses help to heal the people. Although I’m not particularly connected to horses, I appreciate them and like to watch them run freely through the fields. It’s the people in this particular volunteer leadership group, however, who “make me tick.”

Over the last twenty or more years, I’ve had several opportunities to meet healers. Now, don’t get all “New Age-y” here and run out of the room screaming. These people are “pure of spirit,” and have no ulterior motives, except to help other people navigate through this sometimes relentlessly unforgiving maze that we call life. There are two doctors, an RN, two equestrian specialists and a couple of administrative types like me who simply believe that mankind is somewhat intellectually challenged, and not always capable of grasping anything that is not black and white or concrete and factual.

Surely, with all of the things that we purport to believe in religiously, it seems incomprehensible to me that we, as a group, have problems giving it up to the fact that our brains, our spirits and our hearts don’t or can’t play a larger role than that assigned to us by our Primary Care Physicians or our big Pharma companies. For the most part, we believe in an after-life, we believe in miracles, we believe in goodness, but we have problems understanding how an Autistic kid on a loving, nurturing horse can be helped. It’s because there have not been enough control groups, double blind studies or scientific documentations to support the theory, and typically those scientific theories are only scientific law until they are proven wrong, and that has happened plenty of times.

The freedom of having been a nonmedical, nonclinical, nonscientific healthcare CEO was that “I really didn’t care what made people get better; just so they got better.” Consequently, if a golden retriever licking your hand or a clown bopping you with a sponge hammer, a violinist, a massage therapist, an acupuncturist, a flower essence or aroma therapy specialist, a reiki master or a visit from your grandchild helped you, it was all good to me. Pick your passion and start to heal.

The only real way to describe this philosophy was “Open” because that’s what it was and is. One of the amazing aspects of the collection of healers that have gathered to lay the groundwork to make this amazing dream operational is that they also believe that there is much more to healing than a pill or seven pills, and they are more than willing to be open to the spirit of healing.

Of course, one of the problems with this type of work is that you have to “let go” to allow things to happen, and if you are too into the discipline of concrete and only proven science, you will not let enough of your guard down to see what can happen. The problem is that we’ve all heard about the quacks who almost religiously rip off naïve people with magic elixirs or spiritual interventions like Whoopi Goldberg called forth in the beginning of the movie “Ghosts,” but our collection of healers is filled with people who are sincere, well-trained, highly-credentialed and, believe it or not, open to understanding what may otherwise be ignored by the scientists or the traditional establishment.

So, on we roll in search of others who believe that there may be ways to help people that have not been used for several decades or centuries where the brain leads itself into healing or where the switch that turned the gene on inappropriately can be coerced into reversing that physically destructive non-decision. Life is a journey, and when I look back at all of the people who were helped because of things that sometimes make no sense to anyone else, my only response is “Yeah, that’s right.” It can happen, and with the help of other believers it will happen.


Happy 4th of July…(Sort of)

July 3rd, 2009

Recently, my youngest child —a wife and mom in her 30’s,  got a new job that came with a company cell phone, a Blackberry. The problem was that she had a “Friends and Family” cell Phone plan, and no longer needed her old phone.  She called the wireless company, explained the situation, and they said, “We’re sorry, but the telephone bill is in your husband’s name, and only he can change this.”  She painfully explained that he is in the Army National Guard in the middle of a war zone.  The wireless carrier’s “Customer Care” representative replied, “I’m sorry, but he must call in, give us his Social Security number and the password or nothing can be changed.  There are no exceptions.”

American soldiers with the 101st Airborne Assualt Division at Camp Pennsylvania make phone calls from a makeshift, and often malfunctioning, phone center. - Photo by Benjamin Lowy/Corbis -Image © Benjamin Lowy/Corbis
American soldiers with the 101st Airborne Assualt Division at Camp Pennsylvania make phone calls from a makeshift, and often malfunctioning, phone center. – Photo by Benjamin Lowy/Corbis -Image © Benjamin Lowy/Corbis

She explained, ”He does not have a telephone to call you from his base in the desert.” The service representative said, “ Then he must send us his Power of Attorney.”  This frustrated young army wife and mother of three said, “We’re not adopting a child or buying a house, we’re trying to change a wireless plan?”   “Let’s see, Osama Bin Laden is still making DVD’s, but you can’t change a phone plan?,” she went on.   “That’s correct,” came the icy cold reply.

Undaunted by this setback, we went to the local wireless store hoping that we would find an employee who was not the Tin Man from the “Wizard of Oz.”  The young lady patiently waited the 20 or so minutes until her name was called, went up to the associate at the counter and said, “I’d like to take this phone off the family plan and move it over to my new company.”   “I’m sorry, he said.  “The bill is in your husband’s name.”  She explained that her husband was deployed.  The mystified sales associate said, “I’ll check with my manager.”

The Tin Woodman speaks

You guessed it,” the manager said, “Just have your husband call.” “He doesn’t have a phone,” she exclaimed.  By this time everyone was listening intently.  The young man said once again, “Have him call.”  It was at that point that I lost it and said, “He’s in the war! They shot at him today.”  A few stations away, a man who was obviously a veteran yelled out, “Give me his numbers, I’ll put a war movie in the DVD and call these jerks for him.”  The next woman over just shook her head.  Undaunted, the red faced associate stuck to his guns.

Clearly corporate America was making a point.  War?  What war?  Who cares?  “Rules are rules, and they will not be altered!”  This was the third time in as many months that she was greeted with this type of callous big business attitude.  Because it was in a new location, the local cable company would not put cable into their home to provide access for the family to communicate with their dad via the internet for under $3,000.  Even when she explained the desperation of a war mom separated from her husband for a year, their reply was simple, “No, it’s $3000,  or no cable.”

She then asked that her satellite TV be discontinued, and was told that she would be assessed another several hundred dollars because the contract had not expired.  She once again explained the Iraq situation and the need for high speed cable, but they replied, “Sorry, but that’s the way it is.”

So, let’s all take this opportunity to thank our wireless company, the cable company, the satellite company, and every other United States-based company who so fervently support our troops and their families. Sung to the tune of America the Beautiful:

The magnitude of gratitude expressed by corporate greed;
Tells all our soldiers everywhere we’re grateful, yes indeed.
We’ll fleece you here and fleece you there as you protect our homes
Just watch us help your families until you all come home . . . NOT!

In the words of Stephen Colbert, you’re on notice.