The Third Plate x Health, Part 3

Article two: Farmers aren’t the only profession with a sect ignoring searching for the source of a problem, in favour of strictly focusing on ridding of the symptoms.

Without a doubt I’m a long-term thinker. I try and see things like Warren Buffett see’s investing. He sidesteps the appeal of short-term stocks that could return heavily, but chances are fall dearly, in favour of the consistency and rationality of the long-term play. Amongst many of his famous caveats is this,

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” — Warren Buffett.

That being said, there needs to be a working relationship between the short and long-term, as my mother and a wise physiotherapist friend of mine consistently remind me of.

The way I see it though is that whether it’s regarding farming practices or treating human health issues, there needs to be an interlace between the long-term play, which is thinking about the source, and the short-term scenario, which is treating the immediate symptoms. In the health world, the context is this, the reason that a short-term response has such zeal is because it provides a psychological and physiological response: whether it’s trust with the professional, euphoria and excitement, and/or instant pain relief. On the other hand, you can’t beat the consistency and sustainability of thinking and practicing long-term.

Returning to Chef Dan, he’s not blind to this dilemma. He states that,

“Treating causes instead of symptoms is elegant, but not as simple, as it sounds. To address the cause, you need to look for underlying problems — which means you need to have a certain kind of worldview”.

What he means by this, I think, is that the worldview you need to have is appreciation for both of the intricacies, the symptoms and the “underlying problems”, which we’ll continue to note as being the source. In referring to agriculture, whether we like it or not, there will always be, and should be some practices that aren’t totally natural, or side-step some issue with a quick-fix. It’s literally how we got to such an industrious world. That being said, as Chef Dan expands on his thoughts, we come to realize that he’s trying to balance the two ideologies, with the hopes that the sea-saw will balance in favour of the long-term, well, in the long-term.

Scooting over to the human health world, it isn’t much different. Health professionals and the Average Joe need to mingle between the two types of treatments and viewpoints. It’s my personal preference to build trust with a client by creating a big picture, and articulate thoroughly the long-term plan; however, I always, always, always, whether I explain it or not, balance it out with short-term solutions, to make sure they feel the progress, and I see it.

However, herein lies a major issue, when the short-term appeal becomes chronic. The Chef, explains this occurrence for farmers,

“Since the chemical farmer has the options of spraying the problem away, he tends to not bother”.

And this upsets me, because it’s no different in the health world. This will never change completely, because people crave hope; therefore, there are still so many individuals selling magic potions and tricks. Like I said above, although there may be no miracles, there are techniques that can absolve immediate pain, whether it’s a/an: inflammatory pill, consistent medical treatment, massage therapy, and the such. However, having these helpful tools should not, and it does more than you think, dissuade you from creating a long-term plan, and keeping with it.

Now, starting where we began, I’ll let a story about Warren Buffet take us out. In the documentary on HBO, “Becoming Warren Buffett”, his wife, at the time, is interviewed half-way through it. There, she tells a story about her husband. She explains that she became annoyed about his consistent long-term thinking because although it put them in the monetary position that they’re in, they weren’t doing much with the money, except saving more. Therefore, she insisted that it was time to start thinking short-term, and start giving away copious amounts of the money in order to help the less fortunate. So, they did.

They learnt together, to balance the two, hopefully we can to.

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