Return to Homepage


Learn More About the Society Tools to Help You Increase Readership and Teacher Use Get Involved in Your Area Support the Society
Learn How Ishmael's Lessons are Being Put to Use Find Organizations that Act on Ishmael's Lessons Frequently Asked Questions Write to Us
Ishmael In Action

What's New

Share Your Story





Online Resources

Past Activities

Spreading the Word

Sustainable Communities

Tribal Businesses

Upcoming Activities

Ishmael Inspires Los Angeles Family Physician To See His Patients and Co-Workers in a Different Light

Gary Kodel is a family physician practicing in a multi-specialty medical group in Los Angeles. In his practice Kodel helps patients and colleagues see how our Taker culture's exploitive lifestyle and hierarchic social organization contribute to their suffering such as: overworking to make more money to have more things which don't meet their needs, and labeling people as 'disabled' (i.e. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - the descendants of our 'hunter' ancestors) when it is our culture that is disabled for not offering options for our 'disabled' to make a living. Alternatives are offered such as: appreciating the benefits of working not too far from where one lives (more time to meet needs, rather than wasting time, energy, & money with individual fossil-fuel based transit); benefits of observing and learning from sustainable living communities (i.e. forest); benefits of obtaining basic necessities of food, water, shelter, and energy from renewable resources within the community (more stable, less vulnerable to changes in external conditions). Dr. Kodel is also a long-time DOC (Doctors Ought to Care) enthusiast - working with kids to create tobacco counter-advertising media.

Within his work environment, Kodel promotes Quinn's definition of the tribal concept: "a group of people working together as equals to make a living." Even though his clinic is economically and socially hierarchic with class divisions, Kodel states that he promotes egalitarian status among all co-workers & patients by eating lunch with any of his clinic's workers, and giving co-workers & patients specific feedback on the value of their work. Ishmael has also inspired Kodel in his personal life, where he has reduced his consumption of paper, plastic, and electricity, increased use of renewable energy sources, and supports a community garden.

Kodel finds that Daniel Quinn's books, "offer a story that explains the underlying causes of human suffering - exploitive lifestyle (consumption of biologic resource base upon which humanity's survival depends) and its attendant hierarchic social organization (social class divisions between those who control the availability of resources and those who work to obtain them) which cause much needless suffering for past, current, and (possibly) future generations."

Kodel discusses the importance of Quinn's description of the Taker Culture's mouthpiece - 'Mother Culture:' "If Mother Culture hums her self-destructive messages into the ears of most of her children, then she screams her message into the ears of her most obedient children - 'Medical Culture.' The perpetual and ubiquitous expectations of self-denial, self-sacrifice, and delayed gratification are not subtle messages in Medical Culture. Just as humanity is not destined to experience perpetual suffering on earth, so Medical Culture is not destined to experience perpetual suffering - with self-sacrificing lifestyles its only recourse."

Read More about Dr. Kodel or Contact Dr. Gary Kodel.

Learn more about how Ishmael and Daniel Quinn are influencing doctors and healthcare.

What's New l  Who Are We? l   Get Involved l  Spread The Word l  Support Us ]