Diary of a wimpy cul­ture


Lethbridge Herald - - HEALTH/ NEWS | WEATHER - Dr. Gif­ford-Jones Dr. Gif­ford-Jones is a med­i­cal doc­tor and syn­di­cated colum­nist. His col­umn ap­pears each Thurs­day.

I re­cently wrote that our an­ces­tors en­dured great hard­ship when they landed in Amer­ica. They hacked down forests and tried to sur­vive in the new land. Now, they would roll over in their graves if they knew North Amer­i­cans had be­come a na­tion of wimps. Read­ers of my col­umn con­firmed my damn­ing ver­dict.

J.W. from B.C re­sponded, “Thanks for your re­fresh­ing hon­esty, call­ing a spade a spade. We do take a pill for ev­ery damn ache and pain. I don’t think you have ice-water in your veins, hope you keep up the good work, and maybe politi­cians will deal with drug abuse in an in­tel­li­gent way in­stead of pan­der­ing to bleeding hearts.”

D.M. of Courte­nay, B.C. replied, “Your col­umns are in­spi­ra­tional and ev­ery Sun­day they re­vive my faith in hu­man na­ture.”

H.S. wrote, “Drug ad­dicts would be bet­ter off in Heaven. Their brains are ru­ined by drugs and re­viv­ing them doesn’t make sense.”

A teacher added, “Your mes­sage should be part of our core cur­ricu­lum. Teach them early and for oth­ers let stu­pid­ity be as painful as it needs be!”

From C.P. “Oh my God! Your col­umn was beau­ti­fully writ­ten. I read it twice and now it’s on my fridge.”

N.T. said, “A vast amount of North Amer­i­cans have no moral fi­bre and do not hold them­selves re­spon­si­ble for their own ac­tions. It an­noys me when I re­al­ize the num­ber of bu­reau­cratic em­ploy­ees in­volved in re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, coun­sel­lors, nurses and other staff to care for them when it’s their own stu­pid­ity.”

J.R. in Canada, “Our once great na­tion is go­ing down the drain at neck-break­ing speed and few seem to re­al­ize it. There is too much politi­cal cor­rect­ness and hu­man rights non­sense. More ar­ti­cles pls.”

Read­ers did not spare some doc­tors. BS in the U.S. said, “My teenagers had their wis­dom teeth re­moved and re­ceived 60 oxy­codone pills, and needed none.”

From B.W. “We’ve be­come so de­pen­dent on the magic pill I don’t know where it will end. It’s all be­cause drugs are the easy way out. The ad­dicts do not de­serve pub­lic sup­port.”

S.M. “Thanks for giv­ing me the chance to vent. There is no short­age of in­for­ma­tion about the risks of opi­oids, tobacco, etc. We can­not af­ford the prob­lems peo­ple cre­ate for them­selves. I’d rather see my tax dol­lars go to those suf­fer­ing from arthri­tis and other prob­lems.”

C.B. replied, “I was in Wales when Hitler in­vaded Poland and re­mem­ber life in Bri­tain dur­ing the Sec­ond World War. North Amer­i­cans need an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion to shake peo­ple out of their self-in­dul­gence, but it is not very likely.”

I re­ceived a few re­sponses which con­firmed I had ice water in my veins. H.M. said, “I usu­ally dis­agree with your col­umns, your in­flam­ma­tory way of ex­press­ing your ideas and of­ten the gross gen­er­al­iza­tions. The re­cent col­umn is one of your clas­sic rants. I of­ten won­der if you be­lieve in what you write. You come off sound­ing like the worst of right-wing ra­dio talk.”

An­other critic agreed, “Your mes­sage is 20 years out-of-date. I found your ar­ti­cle re­gret­tably polemic. I could re­fute your ar­gu­ments one by one.”

Some read­ers con­demned the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try. One ex­plained he had “worked for a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany and knew it ma­nip­u­lated prod­ucts to ap­peal to un­sus­pect­ing cus­tomers.”

I re­gret I can’t re­port all the email as I re­ceived hun­dreds. But the mes­sage I re­ceived over and over was that if some­one wants to com­mit sui­cide with opi­oid drugs, let him do so. And that too many bleeding-heart liberals are run­ning and bankrupt­ing our great coun­try.

One thanked me for my “time­less wis­dom,” which I loved, and for pro­vid­ing the chance to voice an opin­ion. An­other that the col­umn was “a pure dose of strong medicine.”

The ma­jor­ity of re­sponses re­vealed that most peo­ple be­lieve that pre­scrip­tion and il­le­gal drugs have be­come such a ma­jor part of our so­ci­ety that there is lit­tle hope the so­ci­etal pen­du­lum will swing the other way.

As one reader wrote, “The only hope is to arm our chil­dren with back­bone and teach them about self-dis­ci­pline, re­spon­si­bil­ity and holis­tic medicine.”

On­line, docgiff.com. For com­ment, email info@docgiff.com.

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