Chiropractor’s Inaugural Address

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
This writing was inspired by the inaugural address of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush.
(It is meant as an inspiration and chiropractors affirmation. Enjoy it.)

I am honored and humbled to stand here, where so many chiropractic leaders have come before me, and so many will follow.

We have a place, all of us, in a long story — a story we continue, but whose end we will not see. It is the story of a new method of healing that became a friend and liberator of the old, a story of a drug minded society that became a servant of wellness, the story of a power that is within the body to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer.

It is the chiropractic story — a story of awe-inspiring people, united across the generations by grand and enduring ideals.

The grandest of these ideals is an unfolding chiropractic promise that everyone belongs, that everyone deserves a chance to be subluxation free, that no insignificant person was ever adjusted.

Chiropractors are called to enact this promise in our lives and in our laws. And though our profession has sometimes halted, and sometimes delayed, we must follow no other course.

Through much of the last century, Chiropractic’s faith in healing was a rock in a raging sea. Now it is a seed upon the wind, taking root in many nations.

Our healing faith is more than the creed of our profession, it is the inborn hope of our humanity, an ideal we carry but do not own, a trust we bear and pass along. And even after nearly 106 years, we have a long way yet to travel.

While many in our profession prosper, others doubt the promise, even the philosophy, of our own practitioners. The ambitions of some chiropractors are limited by failing schools and hidden prejudice and the circumstances of their beliefs. And sometimes our differences run so deep, it seems we share a title, but not a vision.

We do not accept this, and we will not allow it. Our unity, our union, is the serious work of leaders and chiropractors in every generation. And this is my solemn pledge: I will work to build a single profession of healing and opportunity.

I know this is in our reach because we are guided by a power larger than ourselves who creates us equal in His image.

And we are confident in principles that unite and lead us onward.

Chiropractic has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be chiropractors. Every student must be taught these principles. Every chiropractor must uphold them. And every chiropractic assistant, by embracing these ideals, makes our profession more, not less, Chiropractic.

Today, we affirm a new commitment to live out our profession’s promise through civility, courage, compassion and character.

Chiropractic, at its best, matches a commitment to principle with a concern for civility. A civil society demands from each of us good will and respect, fair dealing and forgiveness.

Some seem to believe that our politics can afford to be petty because, in a time of peace, the stakes of our debates appear small.

But the stakes for chiropractic are never small. If our profession does not lead the cause of health care freedom, it will not be led. If we do not turn the hearts of students toward knowledge and character, we will lose their gifts and undermine their idealism. If we permit our professional economy to drift and decline, the vulnerable will suffer most.

We must live up to the calling we share. Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos. And this commitment, if we keep it, is a way to shared accomplishment.

Chiropractic, at its best, is also courageous.

Our professional courage has been clear in times of depression and war, when defending common dangers defined our common good. Now we must choose if the example of our fathers and mothers will inspire us or condemn us. We must show courage in a time of blessing by confronting problems instead of passing them on to future generations.

Together, we will reclaim Chiropractic’s schools, before ignorance and apathy claim more young lives.

We will reform our national organizations and Medicare, sparing our children from struggles we have the power to prevent. And we will reduce national exam fees and insurance dependency, to recover the momentum of our economy and reward the effort and enterprise of working Chiropractors.

We will build our techniques beyond challenge, lest weakness invite challenge.

We will confront weapons of mass destruction, such as pills, powders and potions, so that a new century is spared new horrors.

The enemies of wellness and our profession should make no mistake: chiropractic remains engaged in the world by history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors health. We will defend our allies and our interests. We will show purpose without arrogance. We will meet aggression and bad faith with resolve and strength. And to all professions, we will speak for the values that gave our profession birth.

Chiropractic, at its best, is compassionate. In the quiet of Chiropractic conscience, we know that uncorrected vertebral subluxations are unworthy of our profession’s promise.

And whatever our views of its cause, we can agree that children at risk are not at fault. Abandonment and abuse are not acts of God, they are failures of love.

And the proliferation of hospitals, however necessary, is no substitute for hope and order in our souls.

Where there is suffering, there is duty. Chiropractors in need are not strangers, they are brothers and sisters, not problems, but priorities. And all of us are diminished when any are hopeless.

Chiropractic has great responsibilities for public safety and public health, for health care rights and drug-free schools. Yet compassion is the work of a profession, not just one chiropractor.

Many in our profession do not know the pain of poverty, but we can listen to those who do.

And I can pledge our profession to a goal: When we see that wounded traveler on the road to Jericho, we will not pass to the other side.

Chiropractic, at its best, is a place where personal responsibility is valued and expected.

Encouraging responsibility is not a search for scapegoats, it is a call to conscience. And though it requires sacrifice, it brings a deeper fulfillment. We find the fullness of life not only in options, but in commitments. And we find that children and community are the commitments that set us free.

Our public interest depends on private character, on professional duty and family bonds and basic fairness, on uncounted, unhonored acts of decency which give direction to our freedom.

Sometimes in life we are called to do great things. But as a saint of our times has said, every day we are called to do small things with great love. The most important tasks of a democracy are done by everyone.

I will live and lead by these principles: to advance my convictions with civility, to pursue the public interest with courage, to speak for greater unity and compassion, to call for responsibility and try to live it as well.

In all these ways, I will bring the values of our history to the care of our times.

What you do is as important as anything chiropractic does. I ask you to seek a common good beyond your comfort; to defend needed reforms against easy attacks; to serve your profession, beginning with your neighbor. I ask you to be chiropractors: chiropractors, not spectators; chiropractors, not subjects; responsible chiropractors, building communities of service and a profession of character.

Chiropractors are generous and strong and decent, not because we believe in ourselves, but because we hold beliefs beyond ourselves. When this spirit of universal intelligence is missing, no educational program can replace it. When this spirit is present, no wrong can stand against it.

After the writing of the first chiropractic book was finished, the founder of chiropractic D.D. Palmer wrote to his son B.J.: “We know the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?”

Much time has passed since B.J.s words were written. The years and changes accumulate. But the themes of this day he would know: our profession’s grand story of courage and its simple dream of dignity.

We are not this story’s author, who fills time and eternity with his purpose. Yet his purpose is achieved in our duty, and our duty is fulfilled in service to one another.

Never tiring, never yielding, never finishing, we renew that purpose today, to make our profession more just and generous, to affirm the dignity of our lives and every life.

This work continues. This story goes on. And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.

God bless you all, and God bless Chiropractic.

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