My Strength Is Your Weakness
My strength is your weakness. What that means is that I will tell you the truth in what may seem a brutal fashion, but it couldn't be more caring. Perhaps (!*?!) I could use a little charm school for friendliness and support, but the truth I tell you about your biology-health is not subject to charm or manners, it is simply the truth. I am not angry or upset with you, but I do care about you-your health and I must get you, the patient, to stop doing what you like and what is causing problems and/or threatening your health.
What I say is different from other doctors. They may not want to change, or even believe or agree with what I say - I am not here to compete - I believe what I say is true. While I want you to do it, truthfully I believe it is take it - do it or suffer the consequences. That is not cold and hostile, that is truthful. My strength of knowledge-understanding can be your strength. It can be like a firm wall that you can lean upon for excellent support. I hope to be kind-decent-human-warm enough for you, but like a reliable wall, the truths are unbending. For your sake I advise you to just keep working on, moving (gradually) towards the goals that we, you and I, set up that are truth based.
If you smoke, eat a low fiber high fat diet of meat-cheese-eggs, chicken, skim milk and margarine, that means that you want heart disease and cancer. Do not say you don't want heart disease and cancer, when it is what you do that counts. You vote with your mouth whether it is smoking, high fat-low fiber foods like chicken, meat, cheese, etc., drink more than four per week of alcohol-colas-coffee. I believe this is the origin of heart disease and cancer, not radical beliefs.
But, if you eat brown rice-vegetables-beans-fruit with a little bit of fish, if you are lean and exercise vigorously, if you chew your food 15 times every mouthful (STCC 15x), if you examine your life, make an effort to be kind, then you have a low risk of developing the tragedies of cancer-diabetes-gallstones-heart attack, etc. It's like driving drunk and saying you don't want an accident. You may or you may not have the accident, but if you drive drunk, you are saying you want to have an accident. Don't say to me "I don't want an accident" - the way you prove you don't want an accident is that you don't drive drunk, and you do wear a seat belt. The same thing goes for diets-smoking-exercise-good attitude and having no visible fat on your body.
Believe you me, I am not so perfect with my coffee and cookies. I don't expect you to be perfect, but as your employee-coach-teacher, I work for you, not the other way. You are the boss whether I am perfect or not. Do what you can to help me, too.
People might like a little more support from me, but I offer you the greatest strength, the greatest support you can have: The Truth. As I said before, I didn't write the genetic and biologic rules, I am simply informing you of what they are. It is your choice whether or not you want your own particular sensitivities-family history to become expressed in you as a disease process, and it will if you do what will cause the expression of that genetic trait-weakness-family tendency with improper diet-exercise-body fat content-bad attitude-coffee-tobacco-alcohol-negativity.
It is what you do plus your family history that causes the expression of the weakness: diseases-high cholesterol-high blood pressure-cancer-diabetes, etc. in you and your blood relatives. Or, if you don't do those things, you don't develop those diseases.
Let us proceed, together, slowly and patiently (pun intended) with "Baby Steps." Please, allow me the privilege of showing and teaching how to do this. Please rely upon my sincerity, honesty, and truthfulness as a strength-support-concern for you. As it turns out, it is my strength, not my weakness, that is your strength-support-encouragement.
H. Robert Silverstein, MD