What Does Freedom Mean To You?

April 21, 2024
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“Let My People Go” is the refrain Moses said to Pharoah.  It became a song sung by African Slaves in the 1800’s and Civil Rights activists in the 1960’s.  But freedom yearned isn’t enough.  It needs to be earned.  That’s the lesson of Passover.

Passover celebrates the freedom gained by the Israelites from the Egyptians.  What’s not commonly known is that many Israelites didn’t leave with Moses.  80% chose to stay.

The scene repeated itself in ancient Babylonia, when in 586B.C.E, Nebuchadnezzar sacked the Temple in Jerusalem,conquered “Yehud”, and brought hundreds of thousands of captives back to Babylon.  70 years later, Cyrus the Great, a Persian who conquered Babylon, let the Jews return.  Only 42,360 did.  Most stayed in Persia, which became a center for Jewish life until the fall of the Shah in 1979.

In 1932, the Nazi party became the largest party in the German Reichstag and in 1933, Hitler was appointed Germany’s chancellor.  At the time, there were 9.5 million Jews living in Europe.  Few left, and 6,000,000 were killed.

Why would oppressed people choose to stay?

That was the question I asked my grandfather, Henry Roth when he told me how he tried to get his family out of Poland in the 1930’s.  They refused. He said that they didn’t want to leave their “home”.

Complacency and even laziness is the human default.  Today, there are only 1.3 million Jews remaining in Europe.

This is seen everywhere people are asked to make change.  Take the adoption of technology, as described by Geoffrey Moore in “Crossing the Chasm” in 1991 is an example.  His work built on previous work from the 1950’s.

Dr. Cialdini’s principle of social proof says that people follow the lead of others.  In this case, it’s the early adopters.  Most people look at the “innovators” as eccentrics and kooks.  It’s the “early adopter” that pave the way for the principle of social proof to take hold.  Still, 84% of people lag behind.  Complacency, rules.

We’re seeing such complacency play out daily.  Look at the debate over Tik Tok.  It’s plain to see, as experts, including the FBI have testified in Congress, how dangerous this app-virus, controlled by the Chinese Government is and can be.  And despite the threat, millions of people have become dependent, and hence complacent in recognizing the risk to our children, our elections and even our way of life.

Our founding fathers understood this about human nature.  It’s why we do not live in a democracy but rather a Republic.  The majority is often wrong.  They are laggards.  And though they might be loud, their voices shouldn’t overturn the basic rights of others, something we’re seeing daily on college campuses.

Complacency plays out daily in dental practice, as 65% of people presented with needed care, refuse it.  Case acceptance rates are a pitiful 35%.  And, hygiene retention rates are only 50%.

Obviously, dentists aren’t successfully combatting patient complacency.  That’s where Dr. Cialdini’s 7 Principles of Ethical Influence come into play.  And, because this is a public health crisis, I’ve decided to help by making the webinars I’ve been doing on “Getting To Yes” available at no cost.

Please watch this WEBINAR, and if you’re interested in getting more people to say yes and become healthier, register for the next one here.

Freedom comes at a cost that most people aren’t willing to pay.  Most are satisfied with the status quo, or just complain and aren’t willing to act.  Complacency is difficult to overcome.  The majority need to be pushed to do things that are in their best interest.

Ethically moving people towards the health care they need to lead lives free of disease is what’s behind the system of INFLUENCE crafted by Dr. Cialdini that can help any member of the dental team become a certified Ethical Influencer.

Overcoming complacency can promote freedom, health and peace.  The message of Passover is “stop bitching about things, get off your duff and do something”.  Only 20% of the Hebrews in Egypt made it out.  They suffered in the desert for 40 years before their descendants reached the promised land.  Today, those descendants are again fighting for that land.  3,464 years have passed since the Exodus from Egypt and human nature hasn’t changed.  The fight for freedom continues, so the Passover Seder remains as relevant today as it was then.

Towards Peace, Freedom, and Health,


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Dr. Michael Goldberg is one of the leading educators on dental practice management in the United States.

Michael ran and sold a prestigious group practice in Manhattan and has been on Faculty at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Medical Center for 30 years including Director of the GPR program and Director of the course on Practice Management.

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