Ned Loves Tuna Salad, Thunderstorms and Facts

Ned Loves Tuna Salad, Thunderstorms and Facts

Encouraged by numerous emails from listeners, our host shares more about who he is and what he believes in.

Is there a topic you’d like Dr. Hallowell to explore in a podcast? Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected].

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Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

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A transcript of this episode is 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

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell and welcome to a mini episode of Distraction. As you know, we release these mini episodes, people, I think, like them often better than the longer ones, because they’re short and we live in an age of, short is good. In any case, some episodes ago, I said, I asked listeners, “Is it okay if I go off topic and talk about things that I don’t have a degree in or written books about?” And you all answered me, “Yes, yes, yes, yes.” So, I felt wonderfully liberated by that permission you gave me, and so I thought I’d do this little mini on 10 beliefs I hold, so you’ll know where I’m coming from.

Get a sense of what I’m like, as much as I’d love to hear from you as to what you’re like. So, here are 10 beliefs or preferences or predilections that I have. I love tuna salad that I make on my own, and I put everything in it you can imagine, chopped onion, chopped garlic, chopped celery, capers, chopped olives, cayenne pepper, salt, celery salt, whatever I can put. I make this amazingly, I think, delicious. Some other purists would say, “Over seasoned and extra ingredient-ed.” But I love that tuna salad and I often make it for my lunch.

I love thunderstorms. I know I’m not alone in that, but I love thunderstorms, if I’m inside. I don’t particularly like being outdoors in a thunderstorm, but although that has a certain thrill to it as well, but the incredible energy that is released in a thunderstorm, really titanic and inspiring, honestly, when I listen to them. The third item, I really don’t understand people who reject facts. I don’t get it. I’ll go a step further and say, “I really don’t like these people because they’re getting in the way of progress, and they hold onto their ignorance as if it were a badge of honor.” Science means knowledge. You don’t believe in science, it’s not a religious principle. Science means knowledge. So, if you reject science, you’re rejecting knowledge. And isn’t that the story of the mistakes people make, rejecting knowledge, rejecting a proven fact? And it just, it boggles my mind, and the very pressing example of it, people who say, “I won’t wear a mask because it’s my personal freedom not to.”

Well, it’s like saying, “I won’t stop at red lights, it’s my personal freedom to drive through them.” Or, “I won’t wear a seatbelt because it’s my personal freedom not to wear one.” Or, “I think I’ll drive on the other side of the road because it’s my personal freedom to.” Don’t you understand that wearing a mask around other people, if we all would do that, this pandemic would come to an end? I just don’t get it. And people who, I hear them on talk radio going on and on about their personal freedom not to wear a mask and they’ll be blankety blank to fill, listen to blankety blank, telling them to blankety blank. Really? You want to have it be your personal freedom to infect other people and to perpetuate this horror of a pandemic that is absolutely hamstringing the entire country?

And it’s no accident that Europe and other countries have taken care of this. They’ve got it under control. We don’t because of these stubborn, and I would add, ignorant people who won’t wear masks. I mean, honest to goodness, why not? Why not? Why do you put your personal freedom over the welfare of the entire country? I honestly don’t get it. I just don’t get it. It must be wired into us that, in this country, that we, I don’t know, that we have to be selfish, that we can’t sacrifice for others. I mean, I know that’s not true, because I know most people are very self-sacrificing, but why won’t you sacrifice whatever freedom you have in favor of wearing a mask? Okay. Another one, I’m an ardent, ardent, ardent sports fan. I have wasted more time, although to me it wasn’t wasted, watching sports.

I grew up watching the Red Sox, and then the Patriots, and the Bruins and the Celtics. I don’t have a favorite. I suppose, if I had to pick it would be football. Baseball has just become so slow, I literally can’t sit through watching a game on TV. And if I go to the park, I want to leave by the sixth inning, but they really need to do something to speed the game up. It’s crazy. And the players saying they won’t do it, they’re being paid hundreds of millions of dollars, they should just learn how to get the ball and throw it and not stand there scratching themselves in various areas before they throw it. You can tell, I have feelings about that one too.

I love, love, love the beach. I grew up in Chatham on Cape Cod back when it was a small town, before it had become the megalopolis. But I love Chatham, I love the beaches around Chatham. I spent many, many, many wonderful times, Hardings Beach, I’d stand in the parking lot on the white lines, waiting to get a hotdog from the hotdog stand and then go back out to the beach and swim, and Nauset Beach and Monomoy, all of that. It speaks to me in a very special way, the way childhood memories do. Those of you who listen regularly know, I love dogs, adore, adore, adore dogs. Dogs are God’s best messengers and it’s no accident that God spelled backwards is dog. Dogs, just, they’re just, they’re the most wonderful loyal connectors, lovers, healers.

I have a patient who’s actually writing a book about how her dog healed her from her addiction and depression and place of abject misery. And her dog, for over the course of a year, loved her up and out of it. It’s going to be a wonderful book. I yearn for a time when humor and civility return to the national discourse. I am really worn out with rancor and accusation and gotcha, and just people going after people. I’m so worn out with that. There are no good guys and bad guys really, we’re all human and you know the wonderful line, to understand all is to forgive all. I’m really tired of people who just are in the business of accusing. One of my favorite prayers, I’m Episcopalian, so that’s where I’m coming from.

But one of my favorite prayers is, “Lord, help me always to search for the truth, but spare me the company of those who have found it.” So much damage is done by people who think they have the truth and they lord it over you. Self righteousness, thinking that you have the truth and it is your duty to impose your will on others. Now, I just said, “I wish you’d wear a mask.” But you have the right not to, I just can’t understand why you would choose not to. But I’m not imposing it, I’m begging, please, please look at the facts and wear a mask. This is the final one, I’m also grateful to be learning, I’m 70 years old, about systemic racism. I thought we had it licked back when I was in college, graduated in ’72, with the Civil Rights Act and whatnot.

But of course, we didn’t have it licked and with George Floyd, I’m learning about out the experience of black people, that I just didn’t know. I didn’t know that the average black person, regardless of level of education or income gets tailed and followed and gives their kids advice on, “If you get stopped, don’t put up an argument. Just obey.” And what it must be like to live right in that kind of fear. And I was blissfully, not blissfully, I was terribly unaware of it, until this recent movement. And I realized how in my own self, I have stock responses, that I guess have to be called racist. And if we can understand this, if I can learn about it, it’s all about empathy. It’s all about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and walking a mile.

And we say we do it, but it’s very hard to do it, and the beauty of the Black Lives Matters movement is to help those of us who didn’t really get it, get it. And I don’t feel like I’m confessing to some terrible sin at all, I feel like I’m happy, I’m grateful to be learning something I didn’t know. And I do feel badly that I didn’t know it, but I also know that an awful lot of people don’t know, and the best thing we can do is not to get defensive and say, “Oh, I’m not a racist, or I’m not a this.” Don’t be defensive. Just say, “Yeah, I have these stock responses and I need to learn about them, so I can counteract them.” You don’t have to act on your prejudice and you can empathize with the person.

And first of all, know about it, learn about it. What does it feel like to be a black man in a world that, where you are not looked at in a way that acknowledges your dignity and assumes your innocence? That must be so hard and I’m glad to be learning about that. Honestly, I’m grateful to be learning about that. Well, those are some of my likes and dislikes, and predilections and where I am in my life. And I’d love to hear from all of you about this or about anything else, please reach out to us with your questions, comments, show ideas, anything, and email us at [email protected] That’s [email protected]. And remember to check out our sponsor, they help us stay on the air. So, check out our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD, that’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E, intentionally misspelled, CBD.

I’ve been taking it for a little over three months now, and I highly recommend it. It’s good for mood and cuts down on impatience and reactivity. OmegaBrite CBD is safe, third party tested and it works. And if you go to and use the promo code PODCAST 2020, you’ll get 20% off of your first order. And as I said, please reach out to us, [email protected]. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the always reliable and always delightful, Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer and editor as well, is the very multi-talented and very socially engaging Scott Persson. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell and I can’t thank you enough for listening.

The episode 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 at


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