As I descended on Chicago, my birth place, the place that will ALWAYS be home, I felt a rush of emotions I can’t quite explain. I WILL say I didn’t like looking “down” on the city. I wanted to be smack dab in the middle of it. I felt successful AND like a fake at the same time. I was being flown in for a major opportunity but I wouldn’t be able to hit the block and see my family and friends. Who had I become was amazing and hurting me because I knew….I knew I had to do something…..because I knew.
On the drive over to the resort, the driver made a comment that made me sit straight up in my seat. (She’s from the block too.) She said something to the effect of, “Look at all of these psychologists out here. Guess people are going crazy from having too much money. They have every time of doctor out here where the money is.” She was right. I was trying to think about the LAST time I saw a spa, acupuncturist, chiropractor, physical therapist, reiki practitioner and massage therapist in my neighborhood. My heart started to sink. She WAS right.
As I listened to my Jim, my new BFF (that would be Jim Emme, the CEO of Now Foods), he said something that made me almost fall out of my chair. He talked about how the company’s focus was to make quality products that are affordable for everyone. That’s actually how I got introduced to NOW, their products looked the best for the cheapest. I thought, “Wow. Someone cares….like me.” Because, what I know for sure is that A LOT of people don’t.
We’ve become a society of “more expensive is better” and “exclusive is the way.” As long as we’re “in,” most of us don’t care who’s OUT. And, as a person who wanted to be healthy SO BAD and STRUGGLED because I didn’t have “access” to the things I knew worked for me because I couldn’t afford it, it’s NEVER far from my thoughts. It’s a mental thing that never goes away for me. Never.
I get supply and demand. I get that an acupuncturist won’t go into Englewood because 1) they are scared to death and 2) they aren’t sure they’ll make money but how do we even educate Englewood residents on chiropractic care so they will begin to understand WHAT it is and utilize it? It’s a double edged sword.
The truth is, deep down inside, we ALL want to feel better. But being broke is a real barrier. Being uneducated is a real barrier. Lack of access is a real barrier. But what I know for sure is it’s good to be on both sides because it means I won’t give up trying to bridge the gap.