My first mentor Lenny Cocco had a saying on his wall, "Inner Peace is World Peace," and he lived those words every day. Lenny exemplified the importance of healing internal unrest as a first step in addressing the problems we perceive in our outside world. In terms of natural health, I see individual wellness as the foundation for our community wellness. And for myself, a career helping individuals recover from chronic illness has been my life's contribution to the health and wellness of our community. The Buddhists say this well with their "Buddha, Dharma and Sanga," or the inner enlightened one, which combines the way or path we follow, and the community of people we surround ourselves with. Buddha believed only through community could the individual find salvation. At the same time, he believed we can, and should, focus on inner peace. [su_spacer] I've always seen functional medicine as a movement for social change, not as a way to get people healthier - though it does that too. Our conventional medicine system has historically presented as many problems as it does solutions. Now in June, 2020, as the world is being devastated by a pandemic, one would think there would be some "coming together" and community-based support. Instead, our political system, our policing system, and even our public health system have profoundly let us down. As the front page article today in the NY Times blared, "The CDC Waited It's Entire Existence for This Moment. What Went Wrong?." It's like watching a football player in their first Superbowl fumble with a few seconds remaining, losing the game. Except we are talking about more than an embarrassing moment; We are talking about letting an entire nation down, letting an entire nation be ravaged by a new deadly virus while our institutions fail us miserably. [su_spacer] And on the public safety front, the CDC has fumbled handling the first major threat of a deadly virus on American soil, our police officials in charge of our personal safety have fumbled on their most essential role: protecting all Americans from the devastation of institutionalized racism and hate crimes. While I will continue to fight for social justice through health care reform, I applaud those who are taking on what is an even more daunting task: reforming our criminal (justice?) system. The destruction of income equality, the erosion of the middle class dream of owning a home and sending our kids to college, the increase in poverty, lack of access to healthcare and the persistent killing of innocent lives, all reflect an institution on the edge of failure. It's time we heal together, as individuals, and as a collective community. [su_spacer] I am going out right now to join a demonstration in my city, I hope you are too.