Holiday Message 2012 (Pedcast)

Thanks for joining me for what I consider a special edition of that I try and do yearly around the holidays.  This will be my third holiday message.  Wow.  2.5 years of pedcasts, from the desk of Doc Smo, docsmo pearls, interviews, and listener comments.  I am having a great time with this blog. Thank you to my past listeners and welcome to all new audience.  The theme of this year’s holiday podcast is gratitude.  I want to make sure that we all take a few moments to remember and appreciate the contributions of those that came before us. Our parents, our grandparents and so forth.  Let’s remember, without them, we would not exist and most of what we have today would not exist.  They fed us, protected us, and gave us our very essence.  Our predecessor’s wisdom and insights are the basis of our lives today. To a large degree, we are extensions of our predecessors because  they created us and all the comforts we enjoy today.

To me, our ancestors were genius’s level thinkers.  Long before we knew anything about germs, insect vectors of disease, vitamin D metabolism, antioxidents, or insulin, they altered their lives to avoid disease by changing their behaviors.  They seemed to have an instinctive understanding of how things worked. Let’s start with diarrheal illness in children…a major killer of children.  The science of pediatrics was literally founded on the shoulders of avoiding and ameliorating gastrointestinal diseases and dehydration by boiling water before consumption in infants as well as mastering methods of correcting dehydration once it occurred.  With respect to insect and disease, our distant grandparents figured out that the closer to water one lived, the higher the chance one would contract malaria.  They had no idea of the malaria parasite or how it was transmitted but they knew water was part of the formula.  Genius level thinking!  And take vitamin D metabolism.  How did grandma figure out that the oil from the liver of cod fish could keep her babies healthy. Even grandmas who lived 100’s or 1000’s of miles from the ocean understood the importance of fish oil.  How did she figure this out???  And while we are talking about grandma, how did she know about the antioxidant effects of vegetables and that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables promotes good health.  And what about sugar consumption… somehow they knew that consuming a lot of sugar in the form of soda was damaging to children before anyone had any idea of what insulin was or how fat cells store sugar.

Here is one way of looking at the 20th century:  scientists spent a hundreds of  years discovering the “mechanisms” for the wisdom that our great grandparents knew instinctively.  That process of discovery continues today with more and more precision.  What is the saying, “What is old is new and what is new is old?  How true this is.  Dr Andrew Weil, the famous integrative physician listened carefully to the wisdom of quote “Primitive peoples”  from all over the world to unlock some of the same secrets. He knew that ancient wisdom had validity in the modern world.  Remember that DocSmo pearl: “Why would grandma waste her time passing on information that was wrong!”  Think about it.

So as we celebrate the holidays with fantastic food, sophisiticated technologies, enjoying world class music and entertainment, lets take a few moments to say thanks to all those preceeded us.  If it wasn’t for their hard work, insights, wisdom, and sense of purpose, we just simply wouldn’t be the people that we are.

This is Dr Paul Smolen, broadcasting from famous studio 1E, hoping that you have contemplated, those souls from which you were created.  Until next time.