The confusion about fevers, illness, and development. We started this exploration of the proper treatment of illness in childhood, by examining the difficulty in changing some of the ways in which we think, or in today’s parlance, the paradigms in which we believe.
In my view, there is perhaps no paradigm that is in such urgent need for revision as our approach to the illnesses of children. In our almost messianic quest to wipe out childhood disease–through vaccinations, antibiotics and fever-reducing drugs–we have produced a wasteland of children who are literally chronically sick and tired, spending lives feeling uncomfortable in their untransformed skins. It is as if we have prevented caterpillars from becoming butterflies because the time of immobility as a chrysalis can be dangerous. Well it is dangerous, at least a little, but it is more dangerous–in fact deadly–to never allow a child to fulfill his or her destiny and become a butterfly. We urgently need to respect the transformative power of illness, to pluck up our courage and not succumb to those who promise better health through injecting us with poisons, or harsh anti-life medicines that become less and less effective. And more than anything we need to believe in the healing powers of our children’s bodies, so we can give them the gift of confidence in their own strength as they embark on the challenges of adulthood.