I started the week in a cab in DC. I was on my way to a meeting with people who wanted to talk about wellness.
“Wellness” is a surprisingly difficult topic to talk about, here’s why…
If you talk about wellness from a truly holistic point of view, the concept is so smooth and round, so genial and bland that it is hard to say anything useful about it. Consider this…
Nearly all people in nearly all situations agree that it is is better to be fit, strong and happy than to be frail, weak and sad.
Because everyone already knows that it is better to be well, we find it difficult to say really persuasive things about “wellness.” In contrast, when we begin to disassemble wellness into its component parts we are quickly overwhelmed by its myriad overlapping and interacting dimensions. No one part can be used to explain the concept as a whole.
Later in the day, I was recognized as a person who has had influence over the field of long-term care. I appreciate the honor but, in truth, anything and everything I have been able to achieve has been done in collaboration with a large number of exceptionally warm, wise and wonderful people. I was glad that the honor focussed on INFLUENCE because it has long been my belief that when it comes to changing culture and society, influence is more effective than power. If there was ever a list made of the most powerful people in long term care, I doubt I would make it into the top 1,000. I am not at all powerful, won’t ever be powerful and do not seek power.
I also spent time working on “The Second Crucible.” This is a new non-fiction book I am working on. Here is a taste from a chapter called, “Into the Fire.”
“Any book that includes the word “crucible” in its title should examine, and honor, the legacy of the literary world’s most famous and enduring “crucible.” Arthur Miller’s stage play, “The Crucible” is not, history (in the usual sense of the word) because it does attempt to retell the events surrounding the Salem witch trials. Instead it aims to recreate the moral, religious and psychological constructs that made mass murder not just possible– but inevitable. As a commercial entertainment the play was, at first, a failure. Writing about the play two decades after its premier, Miller noted that it eventually became “awesome evidence of the power of human imagination inflamed, the poetry of suggestion and the tragedy of heroic resistance to a society possessed to the point of ruin.” The work’s real focus was, of course, the anti-communist hysteria that held America in thrall. This connection was obvious to even the most literal minded reader and it could not have come as a surprise to Miller when he was subpoenaed to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee.
We wrapped up the week with a long and very helpful call with the team that is readying my novel “Tribes of Eden” for its early 2012 publication date. You will be seeing more about this in the weeks to come, including potential covers and design ideas that we want to share with you.