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There Are No Principles Only Interests
January 15, 2020

My late first husband often quoted one of his professors from Indiana University School of Optometry: “There are no principles, only interests.” I wish I could remember his or her name for attribution. I must say, in today’s climate, this phrase haunts me. I regularly hear and read things that give me chills. We’ve got some scary shit going down.

And then I read articles like, “Living Proof” by Cindy Dampier of the Chicago Tribune, published in the Daily Journal, Friday, January 3, 2020. The large, black and white photo caught my attention: 1967, a male scientist, Dr. Jeremiah Stamler, photographed working side by side in a Chicago lab with an African American woman. It was a story that renewed my faith in both interests and principles–the kind that benefit humankind. As in everyone.

According to Dampier, Dr. Stamler had an early interest in the science of preventative medicine and making his results accessible to the general public. He championed equal access to both information and healthier food choices to people living in lower income areas of Chicago.

His principles guided him to buck big business, namely, the food and tobacco industries, those who would most benefit from keeping his findings tucked away in some obscure scientific journal. He outsmarted our government and the House Un-American congressional committee (that’s the guys who got people blacklisted for supposedly sympathizing with communists) and ultimately was influential in their undoing. His activism was one of quiet strategy and principle. Questioning. Publishing.

Some interesting facts: He’s a child of Russian immigrants. His first wife was a career woman and they both worked for social justice in the late 1940’s. After her death, he reconnected with, and married, a childhood friend. He acknowledges the role of happiness alongside diet for good health. He remains steadfast in his beliefs regarding scientifically proven best practices for health and widespread accessibility to knowledge thereof. And his next great interest is researching cheese. Please, God! Make cheese consumption healthy for us!

I just have to say, there’s much to like about this guy! Yes, his history is impressive, but still curious and working to make the world a better place at age 100? Inspiring.

I’m grateful to Cindy Dampier of the Chicago Tribune for writing this article and to the Daily Journal for publishing it. And to Dr. Jeremiah Stamler: bravo for exemplifying a man of interests guided by principle.


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    • Thank you! So good to hear from you. Hope you are well! And I do remember that name and feel as if he was a larger-than-life character for you all.


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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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