Dr. Jim Dubel
Thanksgiving is probably my
favorite time of year. It is a time for the senses. Nature provides the
sight of those glorious fall colors. But it’s really all about those
Thanksgiving smells. The leaves underfoot on a cool evening stroll and
the odor of lingering smoke from a neighbor’s fireplace. Better yet, the
house filled with the anticipatory and mouth-watering evidence of the
Thanksgiving feast in preparation ~ mulled apple cider, fall vegetables,
squash and turnip, roast turkey and stuffing and apple or maybe pumpkin
pie. And it’s about being truly thankful that everyone in the family has
come through another year and is able to share the day together
recognizing in so many ways that we’re far more fortunate than most.
At our Fall New Beginnings I
tried to tell the following story, but having lost my voice it was very
difficult. I felt since I was barely able to express myself that I would
retell the story here on the “34th Principle.” As Chiropractors we need
to give thanks for everything God has given us, especially our hands, the
tools which enable us to change lives everyday.
An old man, probably some
ninety plus years, sat feebly on the park bench. He didn’t move, just sat
with his head down staring at his hands. When I sat down beside him, he
didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if he was
Finally, not really wanted to
disturb him but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked him if
he was ok. He raised his head and looked at me and smiled.
“Yes, I’m fine, thank you for
asking,” he said in a clear strong voice.
“I didn’t mean to disturb
you, sir, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I
wanted to make sure you were ok?” I explained to him.
“Have you ever looked at your
hands?” he asked. “I mean really looked at your hands.”
I was a little shocked by his
question, I mean every Chiropractor has looked at his or her hands many
times. But being curious about his question I slowly opened my hands and
stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down.
He smiled and related this
Stop and think for a moment
about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your
years. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak have been the
tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.
They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the
floor. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child my
mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on
my boots. They dried the tears of my children and caressed the love of my
They held my rifle and wiped
my tears when I went off to war. They have been dirty, scraped and raw,
swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my
newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I
was married and loved someone special.
They wrote the letters home
and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse and walked my
daughter down the aisle. Yet, they were strong and sure when I dug my
buddy out of a foxhole and lifted a plow off of my best friend’s foot.
They have held children, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger
when I didn’t understand. They have covered my face, combed my hair, and
washed and cleansed the rest of my body.
They have been sticky and
wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of
anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down,
and again continue to fold in prayer. These hands are the mark of where
I’ve been and the ruggedness of my life. But more importantly it will be
these hands that God will reach out and take then he leads me home.
I sat for a few minutes
thinking about my hands and what they meant to me as a Chiropractor. Why
did I sit next to and why did I question this man?
No doubt I will never look at
my hands the same again. I never saw the old man again after I left the
park that day but I will never forget him and the words he spoke. When my
hands are hurt or sore from adjusting or when I stroke the face of my
children and wife I think of the man in the park.
As I celebrate Thanksgiving
Day this year, I plan on giving special thanks for all Chiropractors who
share a love and understanding of Chiropractic and its philosophy and I
will give thanks for the Hands God has given me to share Chiropractic
with, enabling me to serve my family, my friends, and my patients.
I wish to all a Happy
All My Love, Loyalty, and
Barge DC, PhC - April / June 1998
It seems to me that once I learned
the message from above
That I began to live my life
for nothing more than love.
The love of what my heritage
had put on me to bear
The task to bring it forth you see
became my daily f are.
I learned to bear contumely
Twas taken as the toll
Fear not the straight and narrow gate
it lies before each goal.
Forsake the need for accolades
move on once goals are done
The challenge is forever there
in life it’s never won.
Cast out of life the negative
For then you come to understand
that you become your dream.