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MEDICINE: A CAUSE OF WRONGDOING

 

Most readers will probably be surprised by the title of this article. The idea of a relation between wrongdoing and medicine is indeed startling. Yet astounding as it may seem, there is actually a very serious connection between the two. Medicine, as I often insist, is poison. When it enters the body, the blood becomes cloudy. When the blood becomes muddy, the spirit becomes cloudy, and this results in discomfort for the person who has taken the medicine.

The sense of discomfort is the true villain since it makes the person afflicted by it fretful, irascible, and ultimately bellicose. A person who feels well can shrug off provocative remarks from others, but may fly into a rage at practically nothing when he or she is suffering some malaise. In other words, the feeling of the moment determines whether a person is bright and cheerful or gloomy and ill-tempered. It must be taken very seriously, moreover, since it has a close connection with his or her whole fortune in life. Emotions play an important part in human life; they can lead to the break-up of married couples, quarreling between parents and children or brothers and sisters, trouble among friends, and in some cases to loss of one's job.

Obviously, emotions play a very large part in all spheres of practical, everyday life: whether, for example, an employee in some government or business office is liked and trusted by his or her superiors; whether a person is approved of by his or her colleagues, or a merchant popular among his or her customers; whether a technical expert is successful in his or her work or a student in his or her study; and so on. Emotion is a normal component in all such cases; what matters is when it gets out of hand.

People who have trained themselves to a state of great self-control can deal with emotional problems successfully, but ordinary human beings often look to the stimulus of drink, say, or gambling as a distraction from their sense of discomfort. Others, who are well off financially and occupy a high position in society, look for similar escape in luxurious living or sexual philandering. This all costs money, which is frequently obtained by less-than-admirable means. Human beings have been known to resort to embezzlement, fraud, graft, and — most terrible of all— murder, just to acquire quite insignificant sums. Some people claim to be able to find a woman behind every crime, but l myself think medicine is at the heart of the trouble. In brief, to find emotional relief, people today seek stronger and stronger stimulation. To serve their needs, organizations offering unwholesome amusements of all kinds are increasing and are becoming steadily more accessible through modern transportation methods. These factors, combined with the breakdown of older social restrictions such as class systems, make the serious life look foolish in the eyes of many.

However, troubles of this kind represent the brighter side of the picture. The darker side of medication is much more serious. Here, illness is caused in almost all cases. Moreover, people recklessly dose themselves with medicines and injections, so that illnesses increase and more and more human beings experience discomfort. The ramifications of excessive reliance on medicine are extensive. First, because medicines cause increased illness, patients must spend money on treatment and lose time from work. The expenditure and the loss of time on the job reduce their income and drain their savings. They must therefore borrow or be a burden on others. They become increasingly disgusted with life. At the same time, since medicines repress but do not fully cure, the illness drags on until they find themselves in a complete impasse, and are driven to steal the needed funds or, if they are weak-willed, commit suicide, either alone or sometimes with the whole family. Cases of this kind are reported in the newspapers every day. Tuberculosis is the illness precipitating many such tragedies.

To sum up, then, crime has its origins in a human sense of malaise, which is caused in turn by medicines. This is the meaning behind the title "Medicine: a Cause of Wrongdoing."

 

February 6, 1952

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