160620 Stand up and pull the tacks out of your butt.

Stand up and pull the tacks out of your butt.

June 29, 2016

In his excellent book “The New American Medicine Show,” Dr. Irving Oyle uses an analogy of a patient coming to him complaining of a pain in his butt, and requesting a prescription for something to dull the pain.

After a proper interview, the doctor asks the patient to stand and drop trou for an examination. He then notices that there is a tack stuck in one of the butt cheeks.

He reports his finding to the patient, and recommends that the tack be removed as an alternative to the requested pain medication.

The patient then objects with “But Doctor, I earn my living by sitting on tacks. I have an advanced degree in tack sitting. I have no other work skill. I just want a prescription for the pain medication so that it doesn’t hurt so much.

Now, I know that this sounds absurd. Before you scoff and move on, however, give some thought to all the “tacks” that you are sitting on, and that you are not willing to give up for a wide variety of reasons.

If “sitting on tacks” is something that you do for a living, consider this quote from the Dalai Lama when asked what surprised him most about humanity:

Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.”
Whether you “sit on tacks” for career, recreation or relationships, you may be wise to take a step back and look at the big picture of your life. If you recognize the value of long-term health and vibrancy, find some of the many ways that you can stand up and pull those health-sacrificing tacks out of your butt.


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