Going Against the Status Quo
“Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.” -George Bernard Shaw
The Riordan Clinic was founded at a time when holistic medicine was simplified as quackery. By going against the grain of traditional medicine, the Riordan Clinic has thrived for over 36 years.
The following is an article written by Roger Ringer for the Rural Messenger’s April 25, 2012 issue. It focuses on the importance of thinking outside the box, using the Riordan Clinic, and Dr. Riordan, as an example.
By Roger Ringer
Vol. 3 No. 17- Apr 25, 2012
“NEW IDEAS ARE IDEAS FRO WHICH THERE ARE NO PEERS, AND THOSE WITH NEW IDEAS CAN BE FRUSTRATED PEOPLE IN SEEKING ANY SUPPORT FROM ESTABLIDHMENT BASED ON OLD IDEAS.” –Dr. Hugh Riordan 1935-2005
I do not have the gall or ego to tell you that I am an overly intelligent person or that I have answers to all questions. You would not buy it and I wouldn’t either. Friends though do know that I have a tendency to ‘go where angels fear to tread’. Every day I learn something new and the more I learn teaches me how little I know. But I can take experience, training, and observation and apply contrast to something to make my conclusion. This used to be taught as ‘Critical Thinking’. This is not taught anymore because it disrupts the status quo and is generally not politically correct.
The status quo is the quiet way that people resist looking at things in a way that disrupts the flow of ‘the way things are done’. We find it in schools, political parties, churches, the professions, and corporate structure. That is why many start ups become wildly successful. There is no status quo, no egos to protect, no sacred subject to be avoided. The freedom to create has been taken to extremes by companies such as Google, Microsoft, and many others.
The success by companies like 3M is because of a corporate structure that allows employees to pursue ideas and give company support for thinking outside the box. This was also present in NASA and the spin off has changed the world we live in dramatically.
I know the rush of emotion when an idea is taken and becomes something more than I ever dreamed. I also know the disappointment when the dream falls short of where it should have gone.
When we get too comfortable with the status quo we should become wary that we are stagnating. Out problem as a people is that we do the same predictable things over and over again. ‘Madness’ is defined as ‘doing the same thing time and again and expecting a different outcome’.
Dr. Riordan was a maverick. He thought outside the box his whole life and the status quo was of no concern to him. In a series of books he wrote called MEDICAL MAVERICKS he tells the history of the advances thru the centuries in medicine and how the great scientists and physicians were ostracized and even killed for their contributions that were contrary to the accepted norms of the time.
I go to the clinic he founded to regain the life I was losing and the favorite sayings of Dr. Riordan are posted as you come into the grounds and in every part of the building. Each one is a stab at the status quo and when read only make sense.
As a historian there is a saying that I quote over and over. ‘Those who ignore history are condemned to relive it’. What it says is the status quo is the most divisive tool of mankind against mankind.
The most illustrative thing in nature is the herd mentality. By and large the herd stays together for protection and common good. But Lemmings go over the cliff with the herd mentality and perish. But a few mavericks who go against the status quo remain. Thus the mavericks perpetuate the species and it survives. Then it does the same thing again when the survival instinct is lost in the herd mentality.
“When everyone thinks alike, then no one is thinking.”-Benjamin Franklin
This is my favorite saying of Dr. Riordans. And a fitting end to the Status Quo.