Do not take liberties with the gods

What could solve many of the world’s problems this holiday season?

There’s no more sage advice than the words, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Yet time and again, the very opposite happens day after day in medicine, politics and unfortunately, even religion.

I wonder what the Gods are thinking when they survey the world today? Confucius wrote in the Book of Rites in 500 B.C, “Do not take liberties with the Gods or weary them.” Today, we certainly must be pushing our limits of both.

This year, people of all religions will celebrate their holy days at shrines around the world. TV will promote a message of love to millions. But the Gods must surely be tempted to interrupt and deliver a thunderous proclamation on a massive screen in the sky.

They already show dead children washed up on Mediterranean shores and images of tens of thousands of people without food and shelter fleeing murderous conflicts in their homelands. And they could justifiably accuse world leaders of being totally inept and uncaring. Man’s inhumanity to man knows no bounds. Where is the, “Do unto others?”

I doubt that religion would escape the Gods’ thunder. Why wouldn’t they decry the so-called religious who have had 2,000 years to prevent the barbarities and human horror that are taking place today. After all, it is not creatures from another planet who are killing innocent people. Rather, it’s religious sects that have been killing each other in the name of religion for 2,000 years! They might declare that all would find a special place in hell.

But what would the Gods say about the western medical establishment? They no doubt would applaud its huge advances in medical treatment. But their praise may be short-lived.

They might charge that physicians had forgotten one of the most cherished parts of the Hippocratic Oath that stresses, “First, do no harm.”

They might chastise doctors for their unholy alliance with pharmaceutical companies. Physicians, who have deviated so far from the Hippocratic edict, that it’s mind-boggling. They’ve also forgotten Voltaire, the French philosopher, who counselled, “The art of medicine is amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

So what has happened?

Rather than using good sense, treatment is now guided by multinational drug companies who have seduced doctors and the North American public into believing there is a convenient pill to ease every ache and pain. The primary motive of corporations is to program people into believing they’re ill and need a variety of questionable and often dangerous medications. Meantime, so many in the rest of the world suffer malnutrition, homelessness, with no resource for pills for their pain.

I’m sure the Gods would agree that our world is doomed unless we stop polluting the land, sea and air. Yet, they would wonder why there is no hue and cry about how humans are polluting their own bodies.

They would cite no better example than one in four North Americans taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. I believe the Gods would shake their heads in dismay and warn that something has gone horribly wrong with the judgement of the medical profession.

My readers, know that my opinion does not coincide with those of our medical establishment. It may also be that I’m not in harmony with the Gods either. If so, I will receive proper punishment when I finally arrive at their destination. But if I’m consigned to that fate, I believe I will face crowded accommodation.

In this holiday season it is truly appalling to witness the utter human depravity inflicted on so many innocents and the cruelties suffered by uprooted families. So it would be wise for those in authority to be deeply concerned. Confucius could be right when he warned, that, “It is dangerous to take liberties with Gods or weary them.” And where is the “Do unto others?”

This is the 41st year I’ve had the privilege of wishing all of you good health and happiness in the year ahead.

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