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What kind of cancer do you have?

If you read my last column, then you know that I have decided life is too short for putting up with unpleasant people.

Have you noticed how many of these people there are these days? They are everywhere — on TV, on the radio, on e-mail and the Internet. There are even some in our own town!

We keep hearing that there is more and more cancer these days and that seems to be true.

There is a lot of discussion about the causes of cancer, and the discussions about problems with the quality of our food and the chemicals we are exposed to now that did not even exist years ago are valid concerns and very thought provoking.

In our rush to produce food to feed more and more people on the planet, perhaps we lost sight of why we were feeding them. I think it was and is our intention to have healthy people who are happy and productive, not people with full stomachs and sick bodies.

But what about the other kinds of cancer that are not physical? It does not matter what you call it — cancer of the soul, cancer of the spirit, cancer of the heart — it is still a form of cancer and a lot of unpleasant people have it.

This is a much harder cancer to treat, in part because no one thinks they have it — only the “other guy” has it.

In addition, treatment for it has to originate from within the patient; there is no pill, no chemo, no radiation nor any surgery that can cure this.

To make it worse, this kind of cancer seems to be highly contagious. I am certain there are many causes for these types of cancer, but one I know about is a small kernel of negative stuff, like anger, resentment, fear, that gets imbedded in people’s hearts or minds or somewhere early on and slowly morphs into a hard little nut called “blame.” More negative thoughts fertilize it until it grows like a weed. It could go away on its own, unless it gets supported and bolstered up by something called “justification.” Once “justification” gets involved, things get much worse. The more I look at “justification” the more I see it as an excuse for people behaving badly and treating others badly. At this point, the situation is often hopeless, because no one wants to get rid of their “justification” — it is the only excuse for their poor behavior. The sad thing is, it does not just make others sick; it makes everyone sick, including bystanders and spectators. 

So, how do you know if you have one of these kinds of cancer? It does not show up on a pet scan. Does your hair fall out? Does your tongue turn black? Do your eyeballs roll around in your head like the eyeballs in one of those eraser animals? Not usually. In fact, the more positive you are that you don’t have it, the more likely you do! There are some red flags, though, that you can watch for; did you read Karl Isberg’s editorial in the Pagosa SUN last  week and not know what he was talking about, or thought he was exaggerating? Do you listen to the political attack ads and yell “yes” while punching your fist in the air when your candidate’s ads are on, without even considering their truthfulness? Are most all the people who do not agree with you stupid or ignorant or have bad motives? Hmmm...

You know what would really be terrible? To have both kinds of cancer — the physical and the “other.” Oh, my gosh, how do I protect myself? Oh, maybe I should turn off those attack ads and the news networks that profit from hate mongering. Maybe I could delete contagious e-mails, and not believe everything I read on the Internet or hear on TV or the radio. Maybe I could give people the benefit of a doubt or a second chance and seriously look at their point of view.

Maybe I could do my own research and learn to think for myself.

Wow ... I have a lot to think about. 

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