"The year 1989 is over. Thank you, Lord," I said to myself. I then realized that I had momentarily slipped into a cynical mood. Many of us who should know better fall into this trap occasionally. And it's no wonder. Endlessly we hear stories of quick-buck artists, crooked consultants, payola, graft, undercover deals, insurance scams, misleading rumors, etc. We hear such stories so often we become accustomed, frequently completing the tale before the end is told. In such a mind-set, it's easy to feel like a distrustful curmudgeon. With such an attitude, it's easy to believe falsehoods and distrust truth.
Cynics have always been with us, and some have developed a philosophy of skepticism into an art, if not a science. Philosopher Antisthenes founded the Cynic School after serving as a student of Socrates in the 3rd century B.C. Diogenes, a pupil of Antisthenes, later founded the Cynic Sect in Athens. Even Shakespeare immortalized Timon, the Greek misanthrope and soured cynic, in his literature. And when it's bill-paying time, we all understand why Carlyle called economics the "dismal science."
I had these vinegary thoughts as I drove into a restaurant parking lot recently to meet with a friend for a late dinner. This was January, and the afternoon's rain had now frozen, plating the streets with a sheet of ice. The parking lot was crowded and sitting on a sharp slope. In scouting the area, I noticed a vacant space -- a tight spot, but available. As I approached the area, the wheels spun and my car waddled aimlessly. Doubts arose whether I could maneuver into this berth without scraping a fender or two.
Fortunately, help arrived. A young man approached my car and carefully guided me into the small space. It was quite an effort against the icy slope, with several nervous minutes of slipping, sliding, twisting, and retrying. Finally, I was parked squarely and with all the paint on my car's fenders intact, as well as that of the neighboring cars.
I knew I could not have done this alone. So, as I exited the car, I gratefully thanked the young man and handed him a few dollars for his help. To my surprise, he politely but firmly refused to accept the tip. "This is what I get paid for," he said, as he hurried off to help another driver.
As I entered the restaurant, I was no longer a cynic. This young fellow's attitude reminded me that there are enough of his caliber in this world to far outweigh the chiselers. The majority just want to deliver a fair day's work, for a fair day's pay.
The next days's mail contained a copy of The Chiropractic Journal -- a publication which some refer to as our profession's gossip-spew mimic of the National Enquirer. It contained column after column based on what was supposedly information supplied by an "anonymous" employee at ACA headquarters. Most readers will realize that nameless babble and one-sided viewpoints are about as significant as some of the seminar ads published.
There are certainly major changes taking place within the ACA. This is what the membership wants -- has demanded. Sound management and leadership principles are being activated, and those who fear they cannot measure up to what is now expected, or have some inadequacy to conceal, will try their best to undermine the effectiveness of any new program. We shall know them by their whines and underhandedness.
All things evolve. Despotism can only reign for so long; in time, the repressed will revolt. The toppling of the "party bosses" occurring in Eastern Europe at this very minute would not have been thought possible a year ago. Likewise, "---the iron curtain between headquartered administrators and the ACA membership is being torn down. It's time for cautious celebration."
No longer will salaried employees be allowed the authority to dictate to those who pay their salaries -- dues-paying members and their elected representatives. Those employees who are willing to deliver a fair day's work for a fair day's pay have no worry, but the membership will recognize anonymous whimperings and publishers of rumors as the wailing of chronic cynics. Only skill and productivity can be rewarded. The profession can no longer afford the luxury of financing mediocrity and dictums of self-imposed authoritarians.
The ACA's current board needs a fair chance to demonstrate the effectiveness of their programs. Let's lend them our support and give them an opportunity to show us what they can do.