Quick Fixes

      Former Vice-President Al Gore is going to spend this weekend hosting a globally televised Live Earth concert to try and heighten our awareness of the catastrophic dangers of global warming.
      His son, Al Gore III, has spent the past week receiving national media attention that should raise our awareness of the catastrophic dangers of the widespread use of prescription drugs.
      Recently, I was speaking with a neighbor in her mid-30’s with two young children.  My neighbor is quite social and has many friends in her age group, all with young children. During our conversation about the challenges and pressures of trying to raise children today, she casually mentioned that “90% of my friends are on anti-depressants.”
      This epidemic of prescription drug use and mis-use, as I see it, is not restricted to the young, although Gore’s arrest for marijuana use and illegal possession of prescription drugs is playing in the press and on the Internet that way.      
      The disregard with which prescription drugs are manufactured and sold, the abandon with which they are written, and the ease with which they are consumed are all national problems that transcend the generational divide. The elderly are over-medicated, the boomers are over-medicated, the X-ers are over-medicated, and it seems our school age children are as well.
      There are probably many ways to approach solving this problem. Most require a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of political organization and power.  The fastest, least expensive and most empowering way, however, is for every one of us to take charge of our lives, our lifestyles, and our life choices.
      It’s not about locking up the pharmaceutical executives or locking up the medicine cabinet. Actions such as these just allow each of us to abdicate our part and our power.    
      Nancy Reagan was half right. “Just Say No” has to start with accepting personal responsibility and rejecting the quick fix of prescription drugs. It also means saying no to our doctors when they reach for the prescription pad.  It means not watching every third commercial on TV touting the latest cure-all for whatever ails us.  It means refusing to continue to live in ways that stress us out despite the fact that we know we’re doing it. It means adjusting our lifestyles to a more realistic pace. It means adjusting our diets to support wellness rather than expediency.      
      Be kind to yourself. Start small.
      Next time you have something as simple as a headache, reach for a yoga mat instead of an Excedrin.  If that’s too mystical and “out there” for you then just stop what you’re doing, get a pen and paper,  re-evaluate your day and identify where the headache came from. Most illness really does originate with dis-ease.  A lack of ease in your life born of choices that do not support a state of continued wellness and continued growth.
      Whichever route you choose, a yoga mat, pencil and paper, or just deep breathing…you’ll begin to change your pattern. This will be a new beginning and a good thing.
      More importantly, the children are watching.

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