I have been moved by reading the amazing story of Scott Adams – the creator of the brilliant Dilbert. Scott suffers from Spasmodic Dysphonia which affected his ability to speak. Taking a positive and creative attitude, Scott appears to have reprogrammed neural connections in his brain to recover his voice. Fascinatingly, it was use of language, including nursery rhyme, that helped. I wish Scott well.
In public relations, you need to understand what makes other people tick to be a successful communicator. Yet how many of us really appreciate the power of the human mind? I gained a personal insight when my father was ill in 2003. He suffered brain haemorrhaging and lost his sight. I believe that, in addition to the magnificent medical treatment he received in hospital in France, it was the stimulation provided by the family that helped him make a full recovery. We played him music, tested his memory, engaged in conversation and put photographs and cards around the room (even though he couldn’t see them). This bemused the French, but we believed it would help stimulate his brain to recover.
This made me wonder why hospitals – particularly neurology wards – are so gloomy and quiet. Sensory stimulation should be provided to maximise the potential of the human brain to heal itself.
The benefits of positive input are important to use as individuals and for our wider society. Nothing good comes out of having a permanentaly negative attitude – which is that seen in most media, government and corporate communications. Like Scott, I’m championing “good news days” – let’s highlight achievements and enable people to take charge of making the world better. Every day can be a good day, if only we make it so.