So glucosamine is snake oil. Or so the evidence from recent studies suggest. Glucosamine was one of those supplements that utilized a great deal of peer pressure in its heyday. “I’m using glucosamine! My knees feel less bad! My girlfriend is prettier! And although I’m making the same amount of money I always have for the past five years, it seems like I’m bringing in more dineros! In a nutshell, my life rules since taking glucosamine.”
Supplements are part of our micro journeys in our individual quests to find the fountain of youth, or at least a better life. We take them just in case. We all have to be able to do more with less these days and as we age, we stay in jobs longer for fear of losing the security of our present paychecks. The paycheck is what keeps us showing up. While we struggle to make ends meet with benefit of our “secure” paycheck, we watch as a life we hoped would bring us better slips away. Our needing security keeps us from realizing our full potential. We never find out what we could become or what is out there because we continue to be held back by what others say we should be doing.
“Take the glucosamine,” say the masses. “Don’t quit your jobs,” say the masses. “I will hitch my wagon to this pony called BlackBerry for as long as I can,” say the soon to be displaced BlackBerry worker masses.
One thing that has been most impressive in my return to school has been the quality of the faculty of the college I attend. I’m not sucking up, either, even if it looks that way. Sucking up here will not get me anything, either, just like glucosamine. Without going into any real specifics, let’s just say all of the teachers are very knowledgeable, care about the students and are passionate and committed to their work. But, what’s even more impressive is they look to always better themselves. They try to anticipate downturns in any one area of what they are presently doing and seek opportunities to either a) personally improve themselves; and/or b) continuously improve their ability to deliver top notch results academically-speaking for their students. These teachers remind me of stakeholders who own stock in companies, only five notches better than that. Instructors who care are not as common as you think. And when you have faculty members that act as if they are vested in their students’ overall success, you can be sure the quality of the education delivered receives a legitimate and real boost—unlike what the users of glucosamine get.
I am guilty of taking my share of supplements. Some days I do not take them, some days I do. I stopped taking glucosamine a long time ago and it was only for a short time that I took it in the first place. People were so crazy about glucosamine at one point they even started administering it to their pets. I’m thinking Sparky’s newly audible, glucosamine-tainted wind was the only real benefit derived from his glucosamine use. But it didn’t stop his owners from raving about his new, less painful mobility. The problem was the only newfound mobility the old buffer was experiencing was in his digestive system’s flutey reaction to the homeopathic supplement. I suppose supplement wind is not the worst thing if that is all of the side effects glucosamine drifted Sparky’s way. In many respects, I suppose glucosamine was and is, harmless in a gas-inducing fashion.
This final quarter I will be in school from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with only five minutes between classes to gobble something down. I have decided I will make peanut butter sandwiches each day I am in class this fall. I will eat a half a sandwich on the way to class when I need to. I thought last quarter was rough as I was in the same boat, only it was 9 a.m. to just 2 p.m. without a break. In order to keep my program on a fast(er) track graduation date, this lunch-less schedule gives me the benefit of keeping me on a strict diet while I maximize class time. If I thought glucosamine would somehow help, I would throw some back into the mix, too. But, it won’t, so I will leave it as part of my supplement past.
When it comes to the whole should I or shouldn’t I (regarding taking supplements), going back to school or staying on a job you feel is already on shaky ground, the “just in case” school of thought awaits your consideration.
“I’ll keep taking the glucosamine just in case the government tells us at some point down the road that it’s really good for us after all.”
“I’m going to go back to school because I want to see if I still will fit in those little desks that have remained the same size as the ones we had in elementary school. I better take a class in something, too, just in case I have to consider doing something else for a living.”
“Just in case, I better stay on this job. I do not really like it. I sometimes think my life sucks because this is what I do. I come home miserable on many evenings after being aggravated during the day. But we need the paycheck, have to pay the bills and send the kids to college just in case they want to go. What really bugs me is the talk of possibly more layoffs coming. But I guess all things considered I better stay put until something forces my hand.”
Like a layoff?
What about last rites…if you are a recovering Catholic…do you take them upon being on your death bed?
In one of his skits George Carlin said, “Yeah, just in case.”
I’ll let you know how the peanut butter thing works out, too.