As I walked down London’s Brompton Road, across from the shopping Mecca of Harrod’s, I noticed a young family shuffling along in front of me.
Actually it was their young daughter, age 3 or 4, who was doing the shuffling.
Her legs, especially the right one, were rotated far enough inwards that she was practically tripping over her own toes with every step she took in her Ugg boots. How much easier it would be for her to talk through her whole life if that were corrected, I observed.
Being a chiropractor, I can’t stop myself from watching people walk and assessing where the imbalances in their body are and what it would take to correct them.
If uncorrected, the damage to her feet, her knees, her hips and her pelvis would be cumulative in her whole life. Not only would her school sports career be less than it could be, but she would be likely to develop problems which could result in painful surgeries such as hip and or knee replacements as well.
For those of you not so trained in this assessment by sight, let me explain that such rotation of the feet very often comes from a rotation of the pelvis, which can usually be corrected with a few chiropractic adjustments. Sometimes there are also muscular and neurological imbalances higher up—as far as the brain—which need to be corrected also.
I know this is information which most of the population is unaware of, and I knew that I might be the only person who could ever tell this family this information which could make such a positive change in the daughter’s life.
Of course, this family did not know me from Adam, and it was certainly intrusive to be interrupting them on the street to give them information which they had not asked for.
But I had nothing to lose, and I could see the potential gain to this child’s entire life. So I took the risk and tapped the woman on the shoulder.
“Excuse me, I’m an American chiropractor,” I said, (as if she couldn’t tell the American part from my accent). “I’ve been watching your daughter walk and I think seeing a chiropractor could really help her a lot.”
Notice I wasn’t selling anything. I don’t have an active chiropractic practice at the moment on either side of the ocean, and I wasn’t recruiting any patients for fellow chiros in London or wherever this family lived. My only target was to ease suffering in the world and create more possibilities for this little girl.
“It’s her Ugg boots,” the mother replied. “She’s insisted on having them since she was small.”
The Ugg boots may have contributed to the shuffling, but they had nothing to do with the rotation of the entire leg. My first instant instinct was to argue with the mother, but I instantly stopped myself.
Obviously, even though my motive was to create a greater possibility for the child’s life, she took it as a judgment that she was wrong as a mother, which is why she had to justify to me why her daughter had Ugg boots. I could regret her choice which was keeping in place limitations on her daughter’s life, but there was nothing I could do about it if she wasn’t willing to hear what I had to say. She clearly wasn’t.
Unfortunately, most people don’t go around their daily lives wondering, “What else is possible that I haven’t even considered?” If they did, then all kinds of information and gifts from the universe might show up in their lives, just like my giving her a suggestion which could be life-changing for her daughter.
Most people cannot receive any assistance, contribution, or even additional information unless they ask for it, and most of us have been trained not to ask questions but to rely on answers and conclusions instead.
The mother’s rush to judgment of herself (“this woman is telling me I’m a bad daughter cause there’s something wrong with how my daughter walks”) is an incredibly common reaction. Isn’t it where most of us go? When someone suggests something greater to us, we tend to defend who we are because we think they’re saying there’s something wrong with us, rather than being able to hear that they are inviting us to a greater possibility.
Now if I had had the point of view that the daughter SHOULD go to a chiropractor and put any kind of pressure on the mother towards that end, I would have been guilty of being a superior a**hole. Being a superior a**hole is whenever I decide and judge that what I think someone should do is better/more beneficial/more productive/ or otherwise superior to what the person is choosing.
To use a concrete example, if we see someone banging their head against a wall when there is an open door three feet over from the wall they’re banging their head into, we can ask them a question about whether they know that door is there. That’s what I was trying to do with the mother of the little girl.
If we conclude and judge, however, that moving three feet and going through the door is a better option than what the person is doing, then we are being a superior a**hole. What gives me the right to think I know better than the person themselves what they should be doing?
I could see the outcomes of the choices available to the mother and see that getting her spine corrected could create more possibilities. Having that awareness does not imply judgment, and having the awareness does not mean I have to do anything about it. Does that make doing something about the child’s spine a better outcome? Only from my point of view.
And the points of view that matter are the mother’s and the little girl’s. She chose her mother, she chose what’s going on in her body. All of it has some value to her, or she wouldn’t be choosing it. Who am I to say what choice is best for her?
Is there anyone alive who hasn’t been a superior a**hole at some time or other? I seriously doubt it. We naturally resist the judgment that’s implicit in it. Who knows what’s best for us? Who dares to pretend their point of view about what we should do is better than ours?
And how do we limit our own receiving as a result of past superior a**holes we have encountered? What gifts might the universe have for us if we were willing to receive them? How are we diminishing our own lives with our refusal to receive?