When people meet me for the first time and find out that I’m a health and wellness publisher and talk show host, they likely make presumptions about my world view and essence. However, within a few moments they come to understand my inherent nature; that I’m a pragmatist, prone to cynicism. I actually think it’s apropos that someone like me is putting forward notions of health and wellness with a critical eye – because I think many of you who may not know a lot about the subject view some of the underlying concepts skeptically. And as someone who was not originally grounded in the world of health and wellness (but rather is a formerly out of shape commercial litigator) perhaps I have even more credibility when I present new ideas to you. 

If you listen to The Tonic Talk Show you know that I frequently lament the modern phenomenon which has proliferated on social media: the conflation of fact and opinion. I think it’s really become difficult to know what’s real and what has merit. This problem has been exacerbated by clickbait articles, outrageously biased reporting and the echo chamber of our digital reality – a topic I discussed with Silicon Valley Expat Alex Fink (episode #273), who is trying to create a “nutritional label” for digital media so that we’re more aware of the manipulation.

I used to believe that my cynical world view was unique. However, I’m not so sure any more. Perhaps every generation feels like they exist on the precipice of oblivion. But I think that the past few years have shifted many of you to my perspective. Witnessing the corrosive effects of tribal politics, a pandemic, war, recession etc. we’ve all become more fatigued and jaded. How could we not? I pride myself on being as informed as possible. But honestly, lately, there are some days that I have to take a break from reading the news. A cynic’s worst fear is that they’re actually right.

So I decided to zig, when everyone seems to be zagging towards me and put some positivity out there. Who is it that has the exact opposite personna and world view to me? Who is it who is earnest and open, but is nonetheless effective and happy in his mission to help people be healthy and well? Whose perspective would be a refreshing change from my smart-assery. And then I remembered someone, who I met in 2018, not long after I started the talk show, Bhante Saranapala: The Urban Buddhist Monk. 

I think we all could use less of me and more of Bhante and his optimism, earnestness and honest belief in our innate capacity for kindness. That’s why he’s on the cover of this issue and that’s why I encourage you to read what he has to say about all of us. Please do so with an open mind – Bhante’s message seems very simple at first blush, but that does not diminish its value. I also recommend that you take the time to read Tracey Soghrati’s article on cognitive fusion or my article on the need to build and maintain muscle and some suggestions on how to do so. As always, if you’d like to discuss this note or anything you’ve read in this issue, feel free to reach out to me.