When Florence Nightingale Met Jordan Peterson
Well, that would have been a GREAT day, wouldn’t it? Florence was known as the Matron Saint of patient care. Forthright, meticulous and well ordered – though she was, first and foremost, a compassionate carer. But, born in an era when women were not permitted on the front line – not in trench warfare anyway. But always up front and centre, in the kitchen. Nor could they utter words, not passed by the ‘thought police’ or the ‘compelled speech’ adjudicators. A bit like a Google office or Californian campus today. Just how did we move from California dreamin’ to California schemin’ so utterly and completely in just two generations? Well, not by accident – that’s how.
The Canadians Can Save Us
Professor Jordan Peterson, meanwhile, is a ‘surgeon’ of a quite different kind. He brings his scalpel like brain to psychology, and to all that he studies. Rising to prominence, reluctantly, via locking horns with a fading, big beast – that of compelled speech. A respecter of all cultures and free enquiry he drew his Maginot Line in the sand with a chainsaw. Before the cement had time to set. His fear was where ‘compelled speech’ goes today, jackboots follow tomorrow. Whether of: fascist, communist or neoliberal tendency. His resolve had many detractors, seeking to ‘unplatform’ him, to quell his free access to free speech. In an internet age, that lacks the ring of a truly sustainable model. It didn’t work for rationed outputs of the Middle Ages scribes, and it likely won’t work now. With over 500 million global citizens having viewed Jordan’s YouTube channel, the jury is so, not out. While his educational University IS in, as in: fully work in progress.
Rules Conquer Chaos
So, what has all this to do with health, as a blog topic? Plenty, in my book, and in his too. He’s recently written: 12 Rules For Life, An Antidote To Chaos which has sold millions of copies around the world. In 2018 he has been ‘playing’ to sell-out crowds in 65 cities – without selling out his soul. His first book Maps of Meaning, on the Architecture of Beliefs, took him three hours a day, over 15 years, to complete. Meaning is a word that matters greatly to Jordan and it should really matter to us too. It’s what gives life our primary purpose that no pills nor potions can ever hope to match. That’s why health needs Jordan, and a liberal sprinkling of kindly Florence too.
FloJo – We’re So Rooting For You Both
Imagine, if Florence could re-order a better ‘health’ vision? One where treatment was a last resort and our striving was the identification of root causes, with rewards too, for Wellness. Imagine also, if Jordan was allowed free rein to speak directly to the soul – to strive with shoulders back and a tidy room, towards true life meaning, for all. Not short term ‘happiness’ but true, built on solid stone, meaning. The pills would lessen and the Doctors would benefit by additional meaning too, in their work. Only a radical ‘health’ shake-up can save us and our fellow beings. But first, we must admit, in spending more than ever, we are sicker than we’ve ever been – as a species. The emptying of the pot of other people’s money is more than at hand. It’s not just peak oil that’s in view, we are far beyond: Peak Health.
This ‘Health’ Emperor Has No Clothes
It’s not just a fable, a tale from a bygone era. An era when a Jester could say what the ‘sensible’ people, captured by the cash, daren’t. In signing off from my weekly blogs, a monthly cycle beckons. My focus now to complete: The Emperor Has No HPV Vaccines. A book, available from this December – that aims to record a truly modern tragedy. To do the subject justice, where justice is currently denied and invisible. Hans Christian Anderson also highlighted an invisible deceit, one also perpetuated on the masses. He wrote that original tale, of the Emperor Who Had No Clothes – but one where he, and others, dare not utter a word of the folly. Finally, an unsuspecting child blurts out the innocent truth “The Emperor Has No Clothes”. Six years later, Hans wrote The Ugly Duckling about the transformation of the unappealing duck into a majestic Swan. Let’s hope that not just in fairy tales can we move towards a happier ending.
But plain speaking is needed most of all – to dare to say what others simply won’t. That wish holds together our life of meaning – one where no pill, nor vaccine, can give us immunity from lies.