Censorship hurts – Gentleness empowers

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.
Jane Goodall

Australia: “By some estimates, as many as 18,000 people die every year as a result of medical error, while 50,000 people suffer a permanent injury. But there is no systematic collection and linking treatment error data, so it is impossible to know for sure how many medical mistakes cause serious harm or death. (…) Some people believe there’s a silent epidemic of error in the Australian health system” (ref)

USA: “In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published the famous “To Err Is Human” report, which dropped a bombshell on the medical community by reporting that up to 98,000 people a year die because of mistakes in hospitals. The number was initially disputed, but is now widely accepted by doctors and hospital officials — and quoted ubiquitously in the media.” (ref)

“Survey results indicate that nearly half of U.S. doctors fail to report incompetent colleagues, while at the same time they believe such mistakes should be reported to authorities.” (ref)

“It was estimated that by the age of 65 years, 75% of physicians in low-risk specialties had faced a malpractice claim, as compared with 99% of physicians in high-risk specialties.” (ref)

Every health-related environment carries certain risks and sometimes things can go wrong, even in the presence of best intentions. Humans are prone to errors too. So should medical malpractice be used as a justification for not employing duty of care by raw food promoters or owners of  raw food online forums? Are there some practices that can be adopted to minimize the risks, such as for example transparency and operating within the limits of competence? Further, when raw food becomes a business rather than purely charitable activity, could this affect the decision making? The following biography is of one of the most influential raw foodists in the history, who simultaneously got very little credit for his work during his life, is unknown or forgotten by many raw foodists, and has never made any real money from his work. The excerpt below comes from a website where you can download his work for FREE thanks to someone who made an effort to make it available to you (ref).

“Armenian raw vegan Arshavir Ter-Hovanessian will one day be remembered as not only the father of the modern day raw food movement worldwide, but also one of the greatest humanitarians and environmentalists who ever lived. His book Raw Eating (first published in Armenian in 1960) will not only be regarded as the bible of raw foodism but also one of the greatest books ever written. After his awakening from raw eating, he found it his life’s passion and mission to spread this universal truth to everybody across the world. With his own money he printed and distributed 10,000 plus copies all around the globe free of charge. He found it immoral to charge anybody for such simple and beneficial knowledge. Due to his efforts, thousands and now millions of people have been given a second chance in life, free of diseases and sickness. Much about his life is unknown and the parts which are known are forgotten. His work has also been completely plagiarized by opportunist health gurus such as Stephen Arlin, David Wolfe, Fouad Dini, R.C.Dini, and Ken Seaney in their book Natures First Law: The Raw-Food Diet. Aterhov (Arshavir Ter-Hovanessian) has not been given any credit whatsoever by any of these dishonest money hungry authors. He has done so much for humanity and the least we can do is remember, appreciate, and honor his work. Aterhov is truly one of the most underestimated philanthropists of our time and his philosophy on raw eating is beginning to resurface because mankind is in a desperate need for a natural and healthy way of living. The raw food diet is not only remarkably beneficial to our physical, mental and spiritual well being but it is also beneficial to the whole environment and the economies of all nations on earth. This lifestyle is the only true way we are designed to live and the result of whole nations converting to a raw food diet will be revolutionary to say the least. Aterhov himself believed that raw eating will bring forth the worlds greatest revolution, so lets try to not let him down.” (Haik Nazaryan, ref)

Today, we have tools available to us like never before, and are connected via the Internet in a way which makes free information sharing a breeze. Yet, instead of harnessing these to their full potential, the raw food community is divided like never before, riddled with stories of unethical behavior, lies, bullying, intimidation, censorship, misinformation, crowds manipulation and competition. Is this an inevitable outcome of the Internet access, or could it be the result of popularity contest driven by few who do not care? Crowd apathy can be astounding at times, when despite the obvious signs of clearly inappropriate behaviors, the observers become enablers as they stay silent because everyone else does. Indeed, as psychology experiments (ref) have taught us, obedience to authority (ref), self-deception (ref), bystander apathy (ref), and false consensus efect (ref) are the various underlying mechanisms that may explain what we observe.  But, does it have to be that way? Is it really true that the power lies within those who have the most control of the crowds through the means of censorship, to whom the leadership could mean “I don’t want peace! I want control! I want to destroy the competition. I don’t even want joy, unless it means wearing the gold medal around my neck and standing on the highest platform while everyone cheers.” (ref)?

There clearly is a window open for us to explore a completely different space. The one of peace,  free information sharing and inspiration. There is a lot of potential of many beautiful souls with the ability to contribute their wisdom in the spirit of Hovanessian ethics. There clearly are those who care. The real power lies not within those who are the loudest or most seen. Rather, it is within those, who care most. Those, who like Hovanessian, care enough to share and connect with others in a peaceful way. Perhaps some quiet souls do not realize how powerful they really are. How much they can influence other people, by being patient and gentle and kind and gracious, by being themselves. By networking with other like-minded people. It is time to invest in the power of gentleness. Let us stay connected. If you feel the ideas here resonate with you, I invite you to keep in touch. You know how to find me. xxx

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” (ref)
Mahatma Gandhi

“Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.”
Bruce Lee