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A Moment with Dr Patch Adams

I was invited to Uplift festival as a media partner in Dec 2014. As a group of media people, we had the opportunity to have 5 mins each with Dr Patch Adams.

Dr Adams is a clown, doctor, political activist and teacher. I was inspired by his level of dedication and integrity in assisting the planet.

He has devoted 40 years of his life to changing America’s healthcare system and believes that laughter, joy and creativity are an integral part of the healing process. With the help of friends, he founded the Gesundheit Institute in 1971 in order to address all the problems of health care in one model.

One of the questions I asked him was: What can we do to cultivate more joy in our lives on a daily basis?

He replied: I decided as an activist in revolution, I could be a strong activist by being happy all the time. It was a decision. I went in two directions; one was gratitude, I dove into the ocean of gratitude and never found the shore. I swim in a deep ocean of gratitude and I estimate that I’m grateful for about 10 billion things and I’m ready to list them. The other thing is I operate from intention. I make me, and I decided to be happy. Having an intention means you decide: I will be happy, not I could be, I should be, I’ll try to be or I hope to be….I will be happy. My job from the moment I wake up till the moment I go to bed, (in this moment given my life’s experience, my circumstances, my love of improvisation) is what performance will put my intention forward… and how did I do? And if I don’t like how I did then there’s no loyalty to the performance. In Buddhism they call it mindfulness, you’re present, you’re present, you’re present and you are making yourself. I am making me and I think I’ve done that for fifty-one years (Patch is 69 years currently). So it’s actually really easy. I make me and that’s how easy it is, you’re just paying attention, I’m here and conscious. If I’m gloomy I’m not helping the world at all. If I am radiant, I’m going to be trouble in every environment. Starting at 18 years of age, I’ve seen that in 78 countries and in huge numbers of social situations, wars and hellish places, that performance of gratitude and intention has given me my life.

If you would like to contact Patch, please contact him at the P.O. Box below. He responds to ALL his letters but does not use email.

Patch Adams MD & Gesundheit Institute
P.O. Box 307
Urbana, IL 61803

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