Donald Dodd, Publisher

I sat down to write this pre-holidays column, but before I did, I went through my emails one last time before I entered writing mode. It doesn’t pay to get too far behind when it comes to email. Anyway, one of the emails was about a recently released book that promises to explain “how to thrive in a toxic world.”

Wow, did that ever catch my eye.

What kind of toxicity does this book have the answer to? We have plenty of toxic subjects to choose from. Dealing with COVID-19? Masks? Event cancellations? Long lines for testing? Thanksgiving dinner without all the family? The blame game? Maybe the author is writing about politics? The pollution of our oceans? Air pollution? Police brutality? Lady Gaga’s pro-Biden video making fun of us beer-guzzling, pickup-driving, camo-wearing, gun-toting middle-of-the-country Americans?

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I just had to read on, hoping for some tips on how to deal with all this toxicity myself, because it’s getting to me just like it’s getting to you.

I was a bit disappointed when it turned out that the book is about the fact that it seems everything in the world is toxic. One chapter is entitled, “How Our Food Makes Us Sick.” Another is on “The Environment is Making Us Sick.” Another is named “Dairy, the Great American Whey: A Sip That Ruins Lives.”

Reading all that sure made me feel even worse than I did about this toxic world we live in, and the fact we made it this way.

The book is entitled “Learning to Thrive in a Toxic World and the Impact of Clinical Endocrinology and BHRT: A Reference for Healthcare Practitioners and Patients.” That’s not only a mouthful, it’s a depressing mouthful.

I am sure the author, Lisa Everett Andersen, a holistic clinical pharmacist who lives in Kansas City, means well and wants to help people suffering from eating steroid-laden chicken breasts that are now the size of turkeys (am I the only one who has noticed that) or the fact that we have no idea what we breathe in every day and what it’s doing to us.

But wait a minute, if we spend our time trying to decide to mask or not to mask, fearing what this or that guy will do as president, picking sides about whose lives matter and deciphering all of the infectious disease experts on social media, then concern ourselves with large-breasted chickens and plastics floating in the ocean, our day is totally ruined.

I know people who have made toxicity and the worry it can bring a lifestyle. You do, too. Maybe you are one of them.

I wish Andersen’s book would have the answers, and when you think about, in some ways, maybe it does. We need to eat healthy. Drink healthy. Breathe healthy and also have healthy, respectful conversations with our neighbors. You won’t change the world, but you can certainly change you and maybe the sphere of individuals around you.

Besides the things Andersen writes about, there is plenty of other toxicity out there, and you don’t have to let it permeate your life. Smile more even though your guy isn’t president. Appreciate what you have and don’t get toxic about what you don’t have.

As we approach Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Pancha Ganapati, New Year’s Day and all the other days someone celebrates somewhere, remember all the toxicity and what it’s doing to us. The cure starts with you. Hey, we can detox this toxicity.

Whether you are a Christian or not, there is a valuable message in Ephesians 4:31-32, which reads in part, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another. . . .”

What a wonderful solution to the toxicity that is all around us. Happy holidays, and enjoy that really large turkey breast!