I read an ad this morning about a doctor who claims that open heart surgery does more harm than good and offers advice on how to minimise and even reverse the risk of heart disease, but here’s the catch: you have to pay for it. I am not a doctor. I know as much about heart disease as the next person, but I found this advertisement inappropriate and irresponsible, not to mention greedy. If his treatment could really save millions of lives then as a doctor he has a duty of care to humanity to share his amazing revelation. If what he says his true his treatment could potentially save millions of people worldwide.
These web ads are often dodgy – they give you just enough information to hook you and convince you to part with your cash. They provide testimonials, and sometimes “scientific” data to back up their claims, but often this data isn’t published or peer-reviewed. I cannot trust a person who would sell something as valuable as heart disease prevention or even cure to line their own pockets, especially when it could prevent millions of deaths worldwide each year. I appreciate that doctors need to make a living and I have no problem paying my own doctor his fee, but then my doctor takes extra time with me each visit. He’s shown me slides of his trip to Uluru and around Australia, he shares anecdotes and laughs with me, but best of all he made me well enough to get pregnant and wants to keep treating me throughout. He’s a good doctor who earns every penny and whenever there is new information about diabetes or pregnancy he shares it willingly without demanding extra. The fact that he is on top of new research findings tells me he is passionate about his profession. At the other end of the spectrum I once had a doctor who was in such a hurry to go to lunch he told me I couldn’t be glucose intolerant and implied I was making it all up because my symptoms didn’t support that diagnosis. He was very wrong. Now I have type II diabetes. This same doctor told my step father he had foot and mouth disease. It doesn’t take a genius to know that this virus, is rare in humans. In fact, my step father had a bad case of the flu.
For some, writing, like medicine, is a passion before it is a profession. If you write for financial reward it will show in your writing. Your voice will come across sounding indifferent, bored or monotone and you are much more likely to miss grammatical or spelling errors. It is human nature to want to be rewarded for work and it is equally instinctive for us to want to reward a service. I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t love to make a living from writing, but I’d be a fool to think it is inevitable or easy. It is absolutely possible, but I believe those who do find financial reward in writing are mostly in it because they love it and that is what makes them successful. For me, the act of writing and having written is reward enough. My role as a writer is first to provide that service. I love to be read. If I happen to find financial reward along the way then it is a bonus, but it isn’t my purpose.
It might be archaic or sentimental, but I believe in living for the good of all. Living means writing, laughing, dancing, singing, healing and most of all, loving.