Turning Tragedy Into a Catalyst for Connection

Turning Tragedy Into a Catalyst for Connection

Dr. Hallowell once thought about practicing medicine on a hippie commune! What??? This surprising detail about our host emerges as he reflects on the past and shares his hope for the future, as it relates to Black Lives Matter and the global pandemic.

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A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Hello. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. As usual, we’re releasing one episode a week related to events going on in the world. Last week, I talked about George Floyd and what I’d learned from all of that. And today, I’d like to make a comparison. I was in high school and college in the late sixties and early seventies, and it was a very important time for those of us who came of age in that era. We had the horror and injustice of the Vietnam War, which took the lives of many of us. But simultaneously, we had the burst of hope that is caricaturized these days with hippies, and the age of Aquarius, and all that.

But it, in fact, went much deeper. We were literally believing that we could create a new world, summed up in John Lennon’s song, Imagine. The Beatles in many ways epitomized the spirit of that era, the spirit of imagination, and playfulness, and hope, and love being the universal value. And it really captured my imagination and the imagination of many of us. In fact, the reason I went into medicine, as opposed to the more logical way of making a living for me, which would have been to become an attorney or go to business school, was because I wanted to help people, literally. I know that sounds corny, but that was the zeitgeists that we were all caught up in. Love, reach out, help build communities. And although I wasn’t a hippie, at one point, I thought, “Well, I could go be a doctor on a commune.”

Now, it didn’t turn out that way at all, but there was tremendous hope and naive, no doubt, but it was really heartfelt hope. And it all fizzled, but that fervency has always stayed with me, driving me. Connection is indeed continues to be my chief value. My chief recommendation is to connect, to love, to build bridges, to come closer together. And how I think it relates to what we’re seeing now is we’ve been put through a major test with the COVID epidemic and then the George Floyd tragedy. And much as Vietnam set us off protesting, this has also set us off protesting. But I’m hoping, and I’m actually believing, it well may usher in an era of connection, of coming together, of community, of finding and building bridges, of finding ways of commonality, of stopping pigeonholing people, as you know, it’s a red or blue state, or this candidate or that candidate, taking us beyond soundbites and actually getting to know one another. Because the more we get to know one another, the more we’ll find that we have in common. The more we get to know one another, the more these political differences won’t matter.

I always think of, in my generation, John Kenneth Galbraith and William F. Buckley who were at opposite ends of the political spectrum, absolutely opposite, were very close friends. They would rip each other to pieces in a debate, and then they’d go out and have a few beers together. And more recently, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Scalia who were again at opposite ends, but were close friends, would go to the opera together.

That’s the model that I would love to see us take this trial that we’re going through, and turn the tremendous tragedy of all of the people who’ve died due to COVID, and the single tragedy of George Floyd, and turn those events into a catalyst for harmony, a catalyst for coming together, a catalyst for putting down our cudgels, and our weapons, and our insults, and our demonizing of the other side, and saying, “You know, we have so much more in common than we have in difference. Let’s band together and do what the Congress doesn’t seem to be able to do and create policies of unification, of discussion, of sharing rather than policies of condemnation and separation.” I really think it could happen. Much as I caught the fever back in the sixties and seventies, I think our young people are catching it now. I hope so.

Well, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell for Distraction. Before I go, I do need to thank our sponsor. Otherwise, we couldn’t be on the air. Our wonderful sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. It’s formulated by Dr. Carol Locke of Harvard Medical School and her company, OmegaBrite Wellness. I myself have been taking their CBD supplement for about two months now, and I highly recommended. It helps me with my irritability. I can be pretty grumpy. OmegaBrite CBD is safe. Third-party tested, and best of all, it works. Get OmegaBrite CBD online omegabritewellness.com.

That’s it for today. Please reach out to us with your questions and show ideas. We love hearing from you. Love, love, love. Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the lovely, and talented, and graceful Sarah Guertin .and our recording engineer and editor is the ballerina-esque Pat Keogh.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online omegabritewellness.com.


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