There’s a story of a man who didn’t quite feel well. He couldn’t put his finger on it exactly, but on occasion his heart would race, he’d begin to sweat, and he would feel anxious. It didn’t happen all the time but when it did, it scared him and he felt like he was going to die. He researched his plight online and visited websites of professionals to see who could help him. He also read many articles by experts and health professionals. The first professional described his symptoms exactly. He looked at the professional’s website and saw this expert was speaking at a conference in a nearby city. So he signed up. He went to the conference and attended the experts seminar.
Again, the expert described the symptoms the man was having. Rapid heart rate, sweating, and anxiety. Then the expert surprised everyone with something profound. He wrote out prescriptions for everyone in the room. “This drug will cure you,” the expert said. “At last,” though the man with the symptoms.
He began to take the prescription and over time he noticed that his heart rate was decreased. This improvement made the man feel hopeful that the rest of his symptoms would subside as well. Unfortunately, they didn’t go away, but he did notice that he’d developed a tremor in his left hand.
The man went to the web again. This time with a new list of symptoms. What might be the cure for sweating, anxiety and a tremor in the left hand?
Again the man found an expert who described his situation perfectly. He looked to see if the man would be attending a convention nearby, but he wasn’t. The expert, however, was a published author by a reputable publishing house.
The man quickly bought the book and anxiously read it. When he reached the end, to his astonishment the expert had included a prescription for a medication he could tear out of the book and redeem. So he did.
The man’s sweating immediately went away. “Progress!” he thought. But soon after taking the new medication the man noticed he was getting tremendous headaches on a weekly basis.
He went to the web again. He looked up his symptoms. Headaches, tremors in the left hand, and anxiety. He found yet another expert, who had a prescription on his website! He printed it out and began taking the new medication along with his other meds. The tremors and the anxiety went away almost immediately after taking the new meds, but the entire right side of his body went numb.
A good friend had been watching the man for months and was concerned for his well being. He asked the man, how he felt. The numb, trembling man answered with his headache, “Things are going great. I’ve made tremendous progress. I no longer have anxiety, sweats, or rapid heart rate.”
The friend noticed the confidence the man had in the solutions and felt it would be best to speak directly.
“Why would you ever take a prescription from someone who’s never met you, doesn’t know your story or context or your situation?”
The man replied, “I read these experts books. I attended their seminars. I visited their websites. I know them and I know their story is the same as mine.”
To which the friend responded, “The more prescriptions you take from people who don’t know you the more sick you will become.”
Posted on July 14, 2011