Is is so unreasonable to think that the full expression of this chiropractic profession can fit under one roof?
Has division within the chiropractic profession become so common as to be considered the norm?
Call me an idealist, but with all the challenges currently facing chiropractic, it seems that we should be able to pull together.Or to quote Benjamin Franklin:
"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."These are not times in which we have the luxury of fragmentation. Mr. Franklin's remark was made at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, as the 13 colonies faced the wrath of their sovereign, King George III of England. Are we not facing the wrath of health care reform? Are there any greater opponents than the American Medical Association, the insurance industry, and managed care?
Perhaps the efforts of the CCE to bring all chiropractic philosophies into one educational council is just another step towards unity. Perhaps there are other ways we can work together.
The Chiropractic Centennial Foundation has worked hard to be as inclusive as possible. To date, some 54 state associations are members of the Foundation. They represent all but six states:
Wouldn't it be something if we could have every state represented at the Chiropractic Centennial this year? Wouldn't that say something about our willingness to work together?
Listening to the members of the CCE panel speaking on "Integration or Isolation" at the CCE meeting in New Orleans January 27-29, one couldn't help make several observations:
- These "leaders" within the chiropractic profession have been around a long time. They have worked together, and at times broken bread together, but have also sought division in the face of disagreement. There is no need to revisit old arguments.
- The mood was more congenial than ever before. There seemed to be a tolerance and a mutual respect that is not usually the norm. Some of the panelists even suggested that they had much more in common than in opposition.
- If we can have a conference in which most of the leaders believe we should integrate (or are already integrating) into a health care system dominated by medicine, why can't we talk to each other about unity and integrating our profession?
This is truly a new era for chiropractic. It brings with it new opportunities to improve on past mistakes. Ending 100 years of division and beginning a second 100 years of cooperation will not come easily. We must want it to happen.
We must want it badly enough to willfully change the way we act, speak and think. It will require walking away from fights instead of escalating them. Our associations will have to spend additional time seeking understanding instead of assuming aggression.
True, we will probably survive without cooperation. Chiropractic may not gain the level of inclusion we hope for, and you may experience fewer patients because of the ineffectiveness that internal strife causes, but we'll do okay. MAYBE!
This is our year. This is our time to make it all happen. All the dreams of our forebearers are waiting to be realized. The world is beginning to move our way. All we have to do is join arms and take our rightful place.
It's time to reach out to each other in a spirit of chiropractic and let the world know who we are. Are you ready?
DMP Jr., BS, HCD(hc)
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