Board Certified Periodontist

86 – New Directions in 2022

Hi, and welcome or welcome back to The Perio Patient Podcast. My name is Dr. Ben Young and I am a periodontist, alive and well and practicing in San Antonio, Texas. This is my first podcast to you in 2022 so Happy New Year. 

The reason I have not been posting episodes on this channel or my Perio Hygienist Podcast this month has to do with having jumped into an entirely new project. One I hope you will find both interesting and helpful. 

Up until now, my objective has been to speak with two very unique and special populations. The first one are my patients. Those I still see, those I have seen and those who are checking all of this out and might come see me sometime in the future. The second group are professional colleagues. The bottom line is that my energies, for the most part, when it comes to podcasting and writing have been around the subject of my professional interests.  

Now, over the past two plus years I have created a pretty good number of podcasts, which I then placed my website in order to provide people with the opportunity to listen to different subjects they might find useful or interesting. One example of subjects I have covered and may continue to cover as new things arise has to do with dental insurance. You can find this information under new patients and finances.  

Right now I am finding fewer new topics to discuss and also I am seeing events in our world continue to affect our lives more than I ever recall them doing in the past. For this reason, I thought it time to begin applying my writing to other important and timely subjects. To do this, however, I had to come up with a new project for a wider audience.  

We have been through an extraordinary two years and it has taken its toll on all of us. In some ways we are still a little in the fog and over time we are discovering that what we were told at first no longer holds up to the subsequent research that has continued to study the problems of this virus, viral spread, lockdowns, masks, vaccines and the rest. I have already expressed my opinions about a lot of this but still I believe it is critical that all of us maintain healthy communication. This is how I see us getting through this. 

So, with this in mind: That we are in an awakening followed by a recovery phase in society the like of which we have never experienced to this level before – and not just as a nation, but globally, I believe professionals like myself need to start speaking up in order to help others who are not well versed in science to begin to feel comfortable not listening to those voices that are simply insisting, without any scientific studies to back them up, that everything will be well once every creature in the world has been vaccinated multiple times over. This is ridiculous and has nothing to do with viral spread. 

But of course now, there is a riff with well degreed and well-trained scientists on both sides, but there is a very clear explanation as to why this is.  

The problem at certain levels is that larger institutions both governmental and corporate are tied together financially.  

The school system problem for the most part involves large amounts of money from federal coffers being placed into local government/educational coffers which then affects those who have to administer education locally. Of course, with the money came instructions about masks and vaccines and the rest. There was an agenda that was hidden at first but now much more visible.  

The same is true for hospitals and medical and dental state boards and national societies. On the one hand, it has been important to work with government in order to manage public protection through licensing as well as creating programs for the poor through public health programs. Unfortunately, these have become avenues to dictate behavior of professionals locally under the threat of losing important funding or the ability to practice whatever it was they were trained and credentialed to practice.   

Now the public in general is becoming more aware of some of the corruption in these institutions and we who have received licensing from them (which also means the threat of losing our licensing) are trying to figure out, and very fairly I might add, just what it is we should do. Our concern involves protecting the reputation of our professions – which ties into how well patients will be able to trust us going forward. At the beginning of this pandemic our role first seemed to involve a strong defense and support of recommendations by governmental and public health authorities, to keep the public safe, but now seems to involve beginning to correct errors in judgment.  

And because all of us are human beings, we all have things we have to correct and admit.  

This process of correction and admission will in fact, ultimately be what I believe will save the healing arts professions going forward. I do not believe it is a good idea to sweep under the rug anything that was incorrect because I’m fairly confident it will not stay there. The cover up is usually worse than the crime (not always, but usually). I do believe there have been well intentioned people in all walks of life who have taken a few steps down the path of supporting the status quo, the problem is that the further down these roads we go, the more difficult and more startling it will appear to the public when we decide to turn around and begin to admit our errors.  

Anyway. This difficulty we are all experiencing to one extent or another feeds back to the purpose of my new project launched about a week ago.  

I have called it The Still Point Project. Everyday, I post a new, usually brief, thought or idea, similar to some of the things I have produced for these podcasts, but this one has as its topic the idea of recovery. It is not political. It does not advise people what to do. Rather it helps people recover themselves and their relationships by unplugging from news and social media – at least long enough to practice the discipline of solitude. And why solitude? In order to calm and listen and reflect on what is most important we need to do this more often. It is, in my opinion, the best way, possibly the only way, to realign our thinking and reclaim our joy of living. It isn’t instant. That’s why I make my posts daily. Anyway. Have a listen.  

Hi, and welcome to first episode of the Still Point Project Podcast. My name is Ben Young and as the creator of this project I have bequeathed myself the title OldBen or OB for short because I am, let’s just say, an old soul. 

I have been around the block. I know people like credentials in order to determine whether or not someone is worth listening to and in many ways that’s fair – except for one. We don’t make friends by asking for credentials. We listen to them, and in my case here, you can read from me. And it is through the words themselves, you and I can come to conclusions about those who make sense and those who do not. 

Too much these days I believe we are being conditioned to be fearful and skeptical of strangers, when in fact we actually need people in our lives who do not look like us, think like us, perhaps talk like us, but who share some deeper commonalities like life itself and also the desire to live in such a way that we aren’t a train wreck. We want to have good relationships and receive from those relationships some goodness and support. We want to be able to be people who have substance and endurance when it comes to loyalty, but we don’t want to go so far in the direction of loyalty where we lose our own souls. 

How do we do this? Unfortunately, I suppose, the process of change is a slow one, but on the other hand it enables us to continue living the lives we are living and make little changes as we see the need to do so. Yes, once in a while it is time for a new look, a new hair color perhaps, something to shock ourselves and others – hopefully in happy delightful ways – but usually our lives are lived one day at a time and sometimes even one hour or one minute at a time. Life is not always happy and the process of going through tough times actually is an important element of our maturity and character development. But when someone is in the middle of a lot of pain, it isn’t the time for others to try and help. It is the time to be quiet and listen. It is the time to wait for internal disturbances to settle and for voices and reminders that have encouraged us in the past to rise once again. 

As part of creating this podcast within Substack I had to select some categories under which I believed this podcast should reach others. I selected Society and Culture – with the emphasis on relationships and I selected Health and Fitness with the emphasis on mental health. The truth of the matter is this podcast is between many categories, so if I did not have to select from a list, this is where I think my writings and podcast fit. 

The Still Point Project is about finding recovery. It is about coming to a point that you see life is messed up and everyone’s answers don’t seem to fit anymore. It is about what to do when you don’t know what to do. It is about taking the oxygen mask first before giving one to others around you. It is about understanding at a deeper level recovery principles that have been around for decades and have resulted in the saving of countless alcoholics, drug addicts, other addiction addicts, as well as those who were codependently tied to these other suffering souls. 

It is relearning one of the basic principles of water rescue that it is best to throw others a life line while still standing on solid ground. Avoid, if possible, jumping into the water with them and allowing them to wrap you up in their desperation panic and taking you to the bottom with them. 

So, what is my vision for this project? 

First I see little daily posts to be the best way of reminding people to continue to seek moments of solitude for the purpose of reflecting on important topics that in themselves may not be urgent. Life can be high stressed with many urgent action items on our to do lists. I see the purpose of my posts to disrupt the treadmill just a little. Overtime, the changes may become noticeable. 

I do not see my posts to be all anyone needs in terms of sanity reminders. Rather I see my posts as reminders to wake up and spend some quiet time reflecting in any way you are drawn to do this. I did not put my podcast in a religious category, not become I am not personally religious, because I am, but I understand you are on a journey starting from wherever you are, not where I am. True spiritual growth begins with the inward journey to the still point of your life, but it is not a journey alone. True, if you read and listen to me, I’m sort of along for the ride with you, but that is of extremely small significance compared with those you see and talk with face to face, day to day. You need to find and maintain good friends. Right now you may have these, or those who might be calling themselves your friends are really not on your side and will not encourage you to be your best especially when it becomes difficult. Rather, fly-by-night so-called friends will want you to conform to their lives in order to help prop them up. No, you need solid friends who will encourage you through thick and thin. 

You also need growth in your understanding about life itself, which I hope a little comes through me, but you need much more than I can provide. I encourage everyone struggling with relationships to go to a twelve-step program. You will, over time learn more about these here, but you need to go yourself and keep going back at least six times or more before you allow your mind to talk you out of the help they can provide.  I am also in favor of church attendance. If this seems difficult to figure out, then look for common sense people who go to church. You might find them in the twelve-step program. 

Finally, and I will wrap up this podcast with this. If the Still Point Project is impacting your life, please do a few things as thanks in return. First, whenever you read something or hear something you enjoyed, or made you think, please hit the heart button. What this does is it encourages others to read or listen to what you found helpful. Remember, you can do this anytime. Go back and reread things and hit the heart button whenever you choose to do so. I believe the internal program running Substack will limit your liking something to once, so when you see numbers of likes or hearts, you can know these are individuals, not someone pressing the button over and over. 

The next easiest thing you can do is to share the posts with others. And although it is ok to share on social media, I think it is even better to share directly with people you know and who you believe would benefit from what you are sending them. If you encourage them to read and they find benefit then perhaps they will join the community – 

Which brings me to the toughest thing for you to do, and that is to make comments. Brief comments are fine, but if something really causes you to think, then post what you are thinking so others can benefit and post what they too are thinking. In this way, perhaps a community will form and perhaps you will discover friends you haven’t yet met. 

Finally, if you know me personally, then I make this offer. Send me your email and tell me how you and I know each other. I will then enroll you in a lifetime paid subscription to this Substack because, although I hope the population grows and supports me financially, I am not interested in this coming from old friends past or present. In addition, because you and I are friends, if you have a friend, you believe would be helped by my daily posts, then first send them a post or two and get their permission – then send me their email and I will do for them what I have done for you. 

And the pay back? That you will become my ambassadors to others about this project so that subscriptions will grow. Keep in mind, one of the benefits of the subscription is it keeps control of the comments. People who are not invested in their own development often enjoy disrupting the serious work of others. This is why free subscribers are blocked from commenting. 

That’s it. I will post another podcast whenever I can and it might be helpful. Take care of yourself. Bye for now. 

Just so you know, I do plan to keep this Perio Patient Podcast avenue of communication open, but I don’t plan to repeat things for the sake of repeating them. Instead, I hope you will look at my different topics and check them out. Also, if you have questions or topics you would like to discuss or get my take on, then drop me a line.  

That’s it. If you would like the full paid subscription to my Still Point Project, just send me your email and I will take it from there. This has been The Perio Patient Podcast and I am still Dr. Ben Young. Bye for now.