Terry J. Van Dervort, DC, ACP, DPhCS
At a time when the purpose of chiropractic is evolving from condition-based care to subluxation-centered care, this natural progression is being challenged by individuals from outside the profession as well as from those within. At the same time, the historic values and beliefs that helped create our culture are also being challenged and changed.
Chiropractic started as a condition-based procedure that addressed the cause of dis-ease–the vertebral subluxation. This paradigm maintained that with the introduction of a specific force (the chiropractic adjustment), the innate regulating system of the body is able to express itself optimally and help to return the body to an asymptomatic state.
As our profession naturally evolves from condition-based to subluxation-centered care, our focus is shifting from treating symptoms to optimizing the expression of the mental impulse through the tissue cell solely for the purpose of optimal expression of force through matter. Our goal now is moving from simple symptomatic relief to helping a person, a family, even a community be all they can be by maximizing their potential to express life.
Meanwhile, the culture that used to encourage people to put their best foot forward, strive to do their best and be number one has done an about-face and is shifting its thinking to that of mediocrity. Rather than encouraging people to work harder and to be their best, it is now OK to just do enough to get along. You do not have to try hard to achieve happiness as long as you are content with where you are.
In a January 12, 2010 blog article entitled “Overcoming Mediocrity,” Lisa Canning writes:
In Australia, it is called Tall Poppy Syndrome (the tallest poppies get cut). In Scandinavia, it is called Jante Loven (or Jantes Law). Many countries weave a societal pressure into their cultural fabric, teaching youth to not stand out, to fit in, and to tow the community party line. The goal of such behavior is to promote a sense of equality, cultural identity and a feeling that everyone is equal. . . . Such social pressures are not only present down under and in the far north. It is found in many countries of the world, including America. Any public high school student can tell you about the social pressures they face in school to not be different, to not stand out. (Retrieved from http://blog.entrepreneurthearts.com/2010/01/12/overcoming-mediocrity-2/)
In speaking of the culture of mediocrity, Chris Guillebeau exhorts us to “Challenge yourself and others away from mediocrity. Stop asking, is it good enough? and start looking to a higher goal. Encourage others in the same fashion.” (Retrieved from http://chrisguillebeau.com/the-normalization-of-mediocrity/)
As chiropractors, our challenge today is not only to educate our audience about the benefits of chiropractic and living a subluxation-free life that optimizes the expression of the mental impulse through the tissue cell. We must also inspire our patrons with our message to reject mediocrity, desire a higher standard of expression, and strive for a greater level of thinking and function.