Speech at the Health Liberty Symposium
I’m pleased to be here at this Health Liberty Symposium and to share the stage with so many courageous American patriots and truth-tellers who risk their reputations, revenue, professions and even their lives to take bold stands against encroachments on liberty.
Why I’m Here
About four years ago, I decided to close my 30-year-old business, effective at noon that day, because I was $4,900 short of making payroll. At 11 a.m. this big man shows up at my office, introduces himself as John Hewlett, and tells me that he has a strong spiritual prompting to find me and to give me $5,000, which he did, saving the life of my business.
Then, about two years ago, John shows up at my home, learns that I am suffering from neuropathy, hands me this jar of “Cardio Miracle” and says, “Try this.”
I now no longer suffer from aggravating nerve pain at night.
So, in effect, John has saved my life twice. That’s why I’m here.
Proof of Prescience
How did John know that I needed $5,000 and later a health miracle?
I call this prescience, a foresight or knowledge of things before they exist or happen—from the Latin word praescientia, meaning “fore-knowledge, the ability to foretell what will or might happen in the future.” I consider it to be a Super Gift of the Spirit.
I like to hyphenate the word prescience (pre-science) because it suggests that this gift predates science or has preeminence over science.
My presence here today and my message today serve as evidence of prescience.
Message of Liberty from Spirit
For example, about four weeks ago, when John asked me to speak at this event, he didn’t mention the theme of the program or other speakers. So, I prayed for guidance and over the next couple of days, took inspired notes as they came to me, sometimes in the middle of the night.
I haven’t looked at these notes since then (pull them out of pocket).
The first images I see are the Liberty Bell with the inscription “proclaim liberty” and of Patrick Henry proclaiming: “Give me liberty, or give me death!”? Those words convinced members of the Virginia Convention, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, to enter the revolutionary war. In his book 1776 historian David McCullough wrote: “Washington’s victory at Trenton was all the more extraordinary, since it was achieved by men who were broken by fatigue and ill fortune.” He then adds: “People properly inspired and animated by confidence in their leader will often exceed expectations and the limits of probability.”
Power of Oaths
As a leader, Washington pledged his life to secure liberty and considered his pledge a sacred oath. You may take an oath when you get married, or when you appear in court: “I swear that I will tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”
Doctors were once required to take the Hippocratic Oath: “Do no harm.” Now, many doctors take the Hypocritical Oath: “Make more money.” It’s an on-going “tug of war”.
Tug of War
My mother, Ruth, enjoyed remarkably good health for 96 years. However, last January she was admitted to the emergency room. She hadn’t slept or eaten for three days and was close to death. As she nodded off I could sense the presence of the spirits of her departed family in the room. When she awoke from her brief nap, she said she was in a “tug of war” over whether to stay or go. She asked for a blessing, and I supposed that she wanted to pass peacefully. But when I put my hands on her head I connected with her strong will to live a few months longer for some wise purpose. So I blessed her to that end. And, to the amazement of all, she rallied and continued to live in health-happiness for 100 more days—a miracle, and a tender mercy.
About six weeks ago, my wife and I invited her to lunch to celebrate her 97th birthday. She told her friends how excited she was to go. The night before she spoke on the telephone to five people—something she did every day. She also practiced a hula dance for a skit. She slept well, ate a good breakfast, and dressed in her best for the lunch date. But about 15 minutes to noon she called to say she wasn’t feeling up to it. She passed minutes later.
Call to Arms: Take Action
As John Hewlett suggests, we are engaged in a tug of war—and the battleground: our choice of health care treatments. Some people are losing their liberty and their very lives. He invites us to take a stand, to make our life count, and he says: “The battle over how to best gain and maintain health can’t be won by complaining—it will be won by taking action.”
I would add: by taking Pro-action, (Covey’s Habit 1, proactivity), by choosing our response to the conditions and conditioning of our lives.
Depending largely on how you exercise your agency, you choose either liberty or captivity, life or death, daily. The most important thing I learned over the past 30 years about leadership is this: effective, authentic leaders exercise ‘Proactive Agency’ and make wise personal choices to create healthy environments for growth and performance.
Star Wars Continue
This all started with so-called “Star Wars“—the on-going battle over human agency. Star Wars creator George Lucas made the Galactic Empire similar to Nazi Germany—a dictatorship based on rigid control of society that dissolved a previous democracy and is led by an all-powerful supreme ruler, a ruthless totalitarian order using force, fear, and falsehoods to achieve their ends.
In today’s battles over human freedom and liberty, I suggest that our most basic agency concerns what we choose to think in our minds and do with our bodies, including what we choose to consume, eat and drink; what he take in through our eyes, ears, and mouths; and how we care for the health of our bodies.
To a degree, we all are broken by fatigue and ill fortune, and we all suffer from a disability or a neuropathy of sorts: damage to our nerves; loss of feeling. We all need a (cardio) miracle to get oxygen to every cell for regeneration from the inside out.
ET: Inside or Outside?
And yet when we seek help and healing from the medical establishment, we may feel that we are seen and cast as outsiders or “ETs”. As you may recall, in his 1982 movie, ET, Spielberg casts ET in an innocent childlike role where he connects with the children he encounters, but the adults are portrayed as evil unbelievers who only wish to quarantine ET and conduct scientific tests on him. The movie depicts the corruption of innocence that causes the destruction of all that is inherently good. Fortunately, Spielberg allows for a rebirth of goodness as ET returns to life (phones home) and rises to triumph.
This reminds me of what another ET, E.T. Benson, former secretary of agriculture in the Eisenhower administration, said about the contrast between Good (Christ) and the Evil World: “Christ works from the inside out; the World works from the outside in. The World would take people out of the slums; Christ would take the slums out of people—and then they would take themselves out of the slums. The World would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The World would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”
Much of this battle for liberty in health care in other fields centers on different interpretations of human nature. I like what British author CS Lewis says:
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature who you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another—all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”
Freedom vs. Liberty
In his 1946 book Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor Frankl chronicles his experience as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describes his “logotherapy,” his psychotherapeutic method of survival: identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immersing oneself in imagining that outcome. The way we imagine the future impacts our longevity. His ideas help us see the difference between Freedom vs. Liberty. His “Last Great Freedom” is to choose our response to conditions/conditioning and to be responsible for our choices and response, which is why he advocated that we erect a Statue of Responsibility on West Coast to balance the Statue of Liberty on East Coast. He opted for freedom with responsibility (agency with accountability).
Nelson Mandela’s captivity depicts a loss of liberty, not freedom. In winter 1964, Nelson Mandela arrived on Robben Island where he would spend 18 of his 27 prison years. Confined to a small cell, the floor his bed, a bucket for a toilet, he was forced to do hard labor in a quarry. He was allowed one visitor a year for 30 minutes. He could write and receive one letter every six months. He had little liberty, but as he exercised his proactive agency he gained more and more freedom. Robben Island became a crucible that transformed him. Through his intelligence, charm and dignified defiance, Mandela eventually bent even the most brutal prison officials to his will, assumed leadership over his jailed comrades and became the master of his own prison. He emerged from it the mature leader who would fight and win the great political battles that would create a new democratic South Africa.
Universal Cry for Freedom
To avoid “health captivity,” as John Milton noted in Paradise Lost, we must prefer “hard liberty” to the “soft servitude” offered by most governments.
In the 1995 historical war epic Braveheart, Mel Gibson portrays William Wallace, the 13th-century Scottish warrior who led Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England. In one memorable scene he says:
“I am William Wallace. And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny! You have come to fight as free men. And free man you are! What will you do with your freedom? Will you fight?!
Young Soldier: No, we will run and live!
Yes, fight and you may die. Run and you will live, at least awhile. And dying in your bed many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here as young men and tell our enemies: they may take our lives, but they will never take away our freedom!”
Run or Fight?
Often we run and hide instead of fight for freedom because of a self-imposed insecurity, inadequacy or inevitability in lost cause or outcome. Consider the words of Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within all of us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
We all need to exercise our liberty in choosing health treatments and options. Plans such as Obamacare are usually well-intended, but often misguided because they are based on of false ideology: “We need big government (entitlements and insurances) to take care of us since most people lack self-discipline and, left to their own choices, tend to self-destruct. We need imposed discipline, mandated insurance and assisted care to maintain health.” But government programs are always poorly implemented (lots of waste). In fact, the ultimate oxymoron may be “government efficiency.”
The truth is: You are the only one who can insure your health. You’re in charge of everything you do, think, and feel. You may need to do things differently. You may need to create a healthy culture. You may need to give up self-defeating for self-affirming thoughts and behaviors. You may need to gain a new perspective and acquire self-discipline and strength and find new meaning to your life and purpose for your future to enjoy more positive results.
Choose to Live or Die
Certainly today, we all need to exercise our freedom and choose to live vs. die (or “die trying” to dance the hula). Indeed, as Shakespeare said (Caesar), “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant taste of death but once.”
He who has no stomach for this fight, let him depart.
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
will strip his sleeve, show his scars, and say,
“These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.”
And we in it shall be remembered—we few,
we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother. And gentlemen in England
now a-bed shall think themselves accurs’d that
they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap
while any speaks that fought with us this day.
Life or Death?
Yes, decisions regarding health liberty are often life-and-death choices. I have witnessed a suicide in my family—my brother took his life using his favorite hand gun. Another brother, and sister, took their lives slowly—by smoking and drinking for 30 years or more.
In conclusion, I invite you to cultivate the life-saving spiritual gift of prescience and to remember the lesson of Frankl’s “logotherapy: to identify a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immerse yourself in imagining that outcome.
When Pam and I were newly married we purchased our first home, a fixer-upper in Southeast San Diego, California. The small home was on a large lot, 2/3 of an acre, but the back of the lot was being run over by big trucks to facilitate deliveries to a nearby market. I imagined planting a large garden and fruit trees. So, I fenced off the lot and put up a sign: “You can no longer trespass on my property.” I then dumped loads of fertilizer on the compacted soil and after a heavy rain, tilled it in. My “expert” neighbor said that I would never grow anything in that soil, but soon I was harvesting (and giving away) bushels of fruit and produce from my garden.
Some medical “experts” told my wife and I that we would never have children. We now have three sons. I assure you: From “barren wombs” and cement-like soil can come much fruit.