The Jerome Rodale Syndrome, First Hand

Jerome Rodale was the founder of a publishing empire dedicated to health.

In 1971, talk-show host Dick Cavett invited Rodale onto his TV show after reading a New York Times Magazine article that called Rodale “the guru of the organic good cult.”

Rodale took his chair next to Cavett, proclaimed that he would live to be 100, and then made a snoring sound and died.

Couple of points here:

  1. I am always perturbed by the use of the world “guru” – either used by a person on himself or by others referring to a person. I believe the world “guru” (or “master” for that matter) is often used because it is easier to spell than “charlatan.” I am wary of anyone being referred to as a “guru.”
  2. Watch what you say. Do your words match your actions?

To my second point about watching what you say, I have been the recipient of a couple of sanctimonious, self-righteous verbal assaults recently directed at me by people who purportedly had the concerns of relatives left behind by a friend who passed away unexpectedly last October. I had requested for their presence at the visit of a VIP but was told that that is NOT their priority. Their priority was to help the dead man’s family.

Well, I held my tongue for the most part.

But honestly, if your priority is to help the deceased’s kin, may I ask, since our friend’s passing more than a hundred days ago, have you visited the family members even once to show your concern, have you ensured that those left behind have the means to support themselves?

Taking the dead man’s properties and selling them for a song and giving the money to his family hardly constitutes help. (They were planning to do that on the day of the VIP’s visit.)

These people probably have a different dictionary from mine.

And a very different set of values.

Another thought: The self-righteous may not be wise. Often, their motives are suspect. And sometimes, they are just childish people without EQ.

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