Celebrating Heroes

By Linda Elyad, DC
What great opportunities are our centennial celebrations! Our history, remembered, is an uplifting force.

We can meet wonderful people from the past by telling their stories. Not only is this enjoyable, but their lives and accomplishments can enrich our own.

At a time when we are tempted to do something unethical, we can remember the lives of people who resisted that temptation.

It's good to remember chiropractors who sacrificed their freedom for their principles. They fought to maintain our own natural healing system at a time when the medical world turned in another direction.

Nowadays much of the struggle we undergo is subtle. Today's battle is about what can be done with a few keystrokes on the computer in our offices. It's about compromises made to live "like a doctor." It's about our white collar ways of lying, cheating, and stealing, which are ineffective treatment, overutilization, and dual fee schedules.

I've recently learned the story of someone in the academic world who refused to compromise. The university administration required giving false passing grades to star football players. Jan Kemp from the University of Georgia shook up the sports world in the 1980s by refusing to do so. She prevailed through five years of legal struggle. In the process, she lost her friends, her job and much else.

When people think their livelihoods may be threatened, they often react badly. The changes can be difficult to endure.

Learning Jan Kemp's story made me feel I may suffer after acting on ethical principles, but I won't suffer as much as she did. I won't suffer as much as the chiropractic doctors who struggled for practice rights. This gives me perspective.

Our livelihoods can feel threatened. But as others who've gone before us have made the principled choice prevail, we can too. Inspired by our stories, strengthened by camaraderie, we'll step confidently into our next hundred years.

Linda Elyad, DC

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