What my fellow warriors in Vienna taught me
Data is nothing next to the power of the heart
I’m just back from five whirlwind days at the Better Way Conference in Vienna, and I’m flying high. So many of my fellow warriors were there, many of whom I got to meet in person and hug for the first time. Dr Pierre Kory, the one who first inspired me on this path. Dr Jessica Rose, who I feel so close to, even though we’ve spent all this time divided by an ocean. And of course, Drs Maria Hubmer-Mogg, Ryan Cole, Jennifer Hibberd, Professors Arne Burkhardt and Robyn Cosford… so many I can’t mention them all. Just being together, and being with all who attended, was humbling. I want to share some insights that came out of our time together – and they may not be quite what people expect.
First, we are realising more than ever that the best way to communicate with people is to just show one’s humanity. I had a fascinating conversation with German journalist Stef Manzini and she shared that we don’t need to be sharing this bit of research and that lot of data, we don’t need to be spending all this time defending ourselves and defending the truth. All we need to do is to be who we are, in all our integrity, all our heart, and that would be enough to bring the entire pack of cards tumbling down.
Put it this way: let’s imagine you have Tedros Ghebreyesus or Anthony Fauci standing next to someone like Dr Mark Trozzi or Dr Ryan Cole – both doctors who have risked everything and lost much because they care more about people than their careers or reputations. Who would people be instinctively drawn to? Who would they intuitively wish to have taking care of their health and their family’s health?
We are conditioned to think that we have to always use our heads in decision-making, and therefore that we must have a handle on all the data. But people don’t need to be plied with facts, Steff told me. They just need the freedom to intuitively decide for themselves who to trust, and who has their best interests at heart.
This puts the decision-making back into the hands of each individual – and it requires they trust their own intuition as to what is good for them.
That was the first insight.
The second was that, as a group of doctors, lawyers and activists, it’s so important for us to just laugh at what’s been going on. Laughter washes the pain away like nothing else. For most of the Vienna conference, we were all busy, talking to as many people as we could to share our message. It was wonderful – and on the final evening, we finally got to share some downtime and there was so much laughter. Just to be together, to feel each other and have fun was a tonic that I wish I could bottle and share with our wounded world. This love and connection that is available to all of us has the power to heal in a heartbeat.
We also all got to appreciate how multi-talented people are. These colleagues who I know as doctors and scientists have so much creativity and skill. Dr Mark Trozzi could save your life in A&E and also happens to play guitar beautifully. Dr Stephan Becker is an orthopaedic surgeon but also practices quantum frequency medicine and happens to play a mean jazz piano. Zoe Strickland, who tirelessly and brilliantly manages World Council for Health, also happens to sing like an angel. I appreciate that so much – the richness of our humanity, the breadth of our collective talents.
Now to the third insight.
On the penultimate day of the event, we had a rally. It is the second time I’ve ever spoken at a rally – the first was at the beginning of the pandemic when I was still slightly terrified by public speaking. I used to care what people thought of me and didn’t want to make a fool of myself. Now, making a fool of myself feels almost like part of the job description. What I mean by that is, I don’t care anymore what people think of me and I can’t be embarrassed anymore. Perhaps laughing at ourselves and this crazy situation we all find ourselves in, helps others to do the same. I hope so – there is so much joy in it.
So, what does this all mean in the end? Am I saying we don’t need to bother with data anymore? Well, I would say that data are meaningless without human connection. It is by being who we are, standing in our own integrity, laughing, playing, singing together, that we triumph in life. There is nothing richer. In the face of this connection, data are but crumbs scattered on the ground. Let’s leave Tedros, Anthony and friends to argue over the pickings, there is far too much love and laughter to be had around the hearth of our collective humanity.
Another chance to connect TODAY!
Speaking of people with integrity and the ability to laugh, I am so delighted to let you know about a wonderful event today with Vandana Shiva and Satish Kumar (also available to watch afterwards if you can’t make the livestream).
You may be familiar with both but just in case, Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecologist, activist, editor, and author of numerous books, and a tireless defender of the environment. She is the founder of Navdanya, a movement for biodiversity conservation and farmers’ rights. Navdanya offers a fantastic array of courses, including an upcoming course from 21st-24th November taught by Vandana Shiva and Satish Kumar titled, Gandhi and Globalism.
Satish Kumar is a life-long activist who has been inspiring global change for over 50 years. Aged nine, he renounced the world and became a wandering Jain monk. Then in his 20s, he undertook a pilgrimage for peace, walking for two years without money from India to America in the name of nuclear disarmament. Now in his 80s, Satish has devoted his life to campaigning for ecological regeneration, social justice, and spiritual fulfilment. He is a world-renown author and international speaker as well as founder of The Resurgence Trust, an educational charity that seeks to inform and inspire a just future for all.
Satish is generously offering World Council for Health readers 20% off Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine. This quarterly magazine is such good reading for the soul. If you’d like to try it, you can use promotional code Z36 at checkout to get 20% off membership or gift membership.