“When you have a hammer, everything seems like a nail.”
People usually join their religion to fulfill their very simple needs (see a list here). But once they become a committed believer, they are given a hammer and shown how to use their religion on all the nails in their lives. Soon, even their friends start looking like nails.
Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, Homeopaths often do the same: they treat people who are not getting better over and over with their favorite ‘therapy’ because they only have one tool and they are invested in it.
My son went to a Physical Therapist recently for ankle pain (growth plate issue). He was given therapy exercises that only caused him worse ankle pain. When I read the exercise sheet he was given, I noticed that it was a generic ankle exercise program given to everyone for ankle pain. I had the same situation a year ago with my shoulder pain: the exercises I was given only made my shoulder worse. I have seen the same with other friends who are treated with Physical Therapy. Physical Therapy is often used like placebo medicine.
But this hammer-nail blindness happens in all walks of life. I work in medicine and repeatedly see surgeons who perform unnecessary surgery, pediatricians who give unnecessary antibiotics and more.
Vested interests in our own tools often make us overextend their use. The less effective your tool, the more obvious this universal crime. I’ve done it lots of times. I just got riled again seeing it done to my kid.
Moral: Beware, the smiley face in front of you may be envisioning you as a nail!
Question to readers: Have you ever turned another person into a nail?