The minute he saw us, he began the conversation with a snide remark – “What Suraj? How is your practice going? I wish you had been a doctor of natural medicine! I would have come to you for treatment of all my ailments.”
We recently met an Uncle of mine at a family gathering. Something seems to come over him when he sees Suraj. He is ‘anti-modern medicine’ and believes allopathy (modern medicine) is ‘bad medicine.’ He tries to drag Suraj and me into pointless arguments that prove his belief is valid.
Since one cannot reason with Uncle, we try to limit our conversations and excuse ourselves politely as quickly as possible. However, this time around, I decided we had had enough and chose to give him a piece of my mind (with due respect).
Suraj simply smiled when Uncle began the conversation in a strange manner as always. He is now used to his annoying ways and has stopped participating in these medical discussions. But I said –
“Well, I think Suraj is great doing exactly what he is doing. He’s helping so many cancer-afflicted people live a long and disease-free life.”
Uncle ignored my comment and went on in a judgmental tone.
“Allopathy cannot cure a single disease – diabetes, hypertension, arthritis – you name it. Plus all those side effects to deal with.”
He glanced at Suraj, who chose not to comment. But I couldn’t stop myself.
“Well, allopathy may not be able to cure many illnesses, including hypertension and diabetes. But applied in the right manner, it can certainly manage them effectively,” I said.
“Well, you are wrong Haripriya,” he said.
“No Uncle, I’m not. So many in our own family are alive today only because, thanks to modern medicine, they have been able to manage hypertension and diabetes well. Mind you – I’m saying ‘manage,’ not cure. And some died miserably because they left those conditions unmanaged. And you know who all these people are,” I said.
“Well, that doesn’t mean anything,” he said.
“What does it mean then? I asked.
“I have always lived in accordance with principles of natural medicine. I believe in preventive medicine. I take only natural medicine for all my ailments. Everyone in our family could have done the same,” he said.
“Uncle, if you have always lived by principles that you believe prevent illnesses, why did you develop so many ailments in the first place?” I asked, “Should you not have been disease-free?”
The expression on his face changed.
“Well, my bad luck probably,” he said, “But it’s my good luck I choose to take natural medicine for my ailments.”
“Then why did you undergo an angioplasty when you were diagnosed with a heart condition?” I asked, “Isn’t that a modern medical procedure too? Couldn’t you heal it the natural way?”
“No choice there dear,” he said
“We always have a choice Uncle. If a treatment is all ‘bad’ and there’s absolutely nothing good about it, why take it at all?” I asked.
Uncle laughed, “You don’t understand Haripriya.”
“So, help me understand the logic Uncle. What are your current blood pressure and blood sugar readings? You said they were high last year. Are they under control now?” I went on.
“Oh, don’t you worry about that!” he said, sounding hesitant to answer my question and changed the subject, “You talk in favour of modern medicine because your husband is a surgeon. Being a Reiki practitioner, you should be able to understand what I am trying to say.”
“You are mistaken Uncle. I don’t talk this way because Suraj is a surgeon. I talk like this because I have learned to see things from a neutral perspective. Nothing can be all bad. Good sides exist too. Modern Medicine is practiced world over and everyone knows people who have benefited from it one way or the other. To say allopathy is all bad and can’t manage any disease sounds biased to me,” I said.
“Well, you can come talk to my Yoga teacher. He will explain to you in detail about the dangers of allopathy,” he said.
“I can learn all about that from my husband right here Uncle. He is able to explain perfectly well the risks of any modern medicine or medical procedure. But he is also able to explain the benefits offered by the same. All benefits and risks are rigorously documented. Nothing is sugar-coated. Modern medical treatments are meant to be taken only when their benefits outweigh their risks. And when that’s the case, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be taken when genuinely required,” I said.
“Well, Haripriya, you are blind,” he said and patted me on the head with a smile.
“I’d rather be blind than biased Uncle,” I said, “When I am biased towards anything in life, my energy drops. When I talk bad of something, even if it’s just a form of medicine, life ensures I get a dose of exactly that which I was resisting! But when I am able to see the greater good in everything, while also being aware of the potential negatives, my life flows with ease and I am at peace. I have learned my lessons the hard way.”
“Well, all this sounds like Greek and Latin to me!” he said.
‘It won’t be if you work with energy Uncle,” I said, “Why don’t you get trained in Reiki?”
At that point, another person entered the room, our conversation ended and Uncle walked away.
“Whew! What came over you today?” asked Suraj.
“Nothing! I just spoke my heart,” I said, “Hopefully, we will never have one of these draining conversations with Uncle again!”
“Hmm… Let’s see. Knowing him, you never know!” said Suraj.
Two hours passed and there was no sign of Uncle. As we prepared to leave, he appeared suddenly and said, “Haripriya, I will get in touch with you regarding Reiki. I wish to learn this strange language you speak!”
“You’re most welcome to Uncle. Call me and we’ll plan it out, ” I said.
“God bless,” he uttered and left.
What’s going to happen next? I will know only after I receive that phone call from him! I am certain it will come exactly when he is ready for it – not one moment sooner or later.