You know you’re getting on in years when you start talking back to the television. I hit that milestone the other day when an annoying commercial for a medication came on. Patients were standing with hands on hips, glaring into the camera. “You think psoriatic arthritis is gonna stop me? Watch me!”

“You talking to me?” I snapped back, all DeNiro-like. “Who’s stopping you, lady? Take a hike!” It’s not just the oddly-threatening arthritics getting under my skin. It’s the fact that commercials for drugs are allowed on TV at all. Many have called for a ban on all pharmaceutical advertising, in keeping with the rest of the world. Only the US and New Zealand still allow it.

We’d like to believe that there’s a government agency watching out for the interests of consumers, but that’s not the case. A few years ago, I complained to the FCC that Comcast had upcharged me, but nothing happened. Some time later, there was a class action concerning Comcast’s upcharging, resulting in a $2.3 million dollar settlement. But here’s the catch: the money didn’t go to the consumers, but to the FCC! 

So I say, if nobody’s watching out for us, we’ve got to watch out for each other. There’s enough shady business going on in the world. Let’s show up as bearers of light, and do the right thing every day. All of us putting our candles together could really put a dent in the darkness.