Watch the Interview
Human Philanthropy: Giving of Yourself with Dr. Fred Pescatore
You may have already met Dr. Pescatore on The O’Reilly Factor, Rachael Ray, The Today Show, Extra, The View, and many more, sharing the latest breakthroughs in integrative and nutritional medicine.
Dr. Pescatore is the author of the New York Times best-selling book The Hamptons Diet and the No. 1 best-selling children’s health book Feed Your Kids Well amongst others. Dr. Pescatore’s other books include: Thin For Good, The Allergy and Asthma Cure, The Hamptons Diet Cookbook and Boost Your Health with Bacteria.
Dr. Pescatore has his finger on the pulse of natural medicine’s most cutting-edge cures. As a result, everyone from normal hardworking Americans to international royalty is traveling hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of miles to visit his renowned clinic in New York City.
Through his nonstop research and unique medical connections across the globe, he hears about the most groundbreaking natural discoveries and healing techniques as they happen…sometimes decades before they trickle out to the mainstream.
Dr. Pescatore has spoken on hundreds of radio shows across America. And for years, he was heard daily as the host of the No. 1 health radio show in New York City, The Logical Alternative. He is currently on the editorial board of Us Weekly magazine and is a regular contributor to In Touch, First for Women and Women’s World magazines.
With over 30 years of knowledge in his back pocket, Dr. Pescatore is putting the research, techniques, and in-depth healing protocols right in your hands, and not in clunky medical textbook fashion. Dr. Pescatore makes good health easy to understand and attainable for any age, at any fitness level. His natural approach to healing confronts the modern-day cure-all obsession for drugs and surgery that come with countless side effects. And it’s not just his patients that are reaping the benefits. Dr. Pescatore features it all in one of the most exclusive health newsletters available, “Logical Health Alternatives:” a direct pipeline to one of the most respected minds in natural medicine, written by Dr. Pescatore himself. These cutting-edge cures and simple healing miracles are also shared daily with his loyal readers in his free e-letter “Reality Health Check”.
Behind all the glitz and glamour, Dr. Pescatore is also deeply involved in the philanthropic community, devoting time to working in hospitals in Tanzania, as well as helping to support local organizations for the youth in this country. If he’s not lecturing across America or head deep in clinical research, he often travels around the world lecturing in such exotic locales as India and Japan, usually returning with new medical techniques to share with his patients.
“For me,” Dr. Fred says, “Philanthropy has always been about giving of yourself. Too many people equate this with fancy donations and parties. And while those networking opportunities have their purpose, there is so much more that can be accomplished when people donate themselves, not just their money. Social interaction with those in need is critical to understanding what it is that is truly needed. More importantly, it brings an opportunity for a shared learning experience that is unparalleled.”
More about “Dr. Fred” at https://www.drpescatore.com
Read the Interview
Hugh Ballou: Welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. As usual, we are six and a half years into this journey of talking to people who have great stories, great wisdom, great experiences to share, both bad and good. We learn from all kinds of things in life. We have a wonderful guest today. He is a medical doctor in New York City, Dr. Fred Pescatore. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Dr. Fred Pescatore: That’s a big question. How much time do we have? In all seriousness, I am a very traditionally minded internist by training, but I also have opened up my practice to other ideas. You might consider me a complementary medical doctor. I do diets, nutrition, vitamins, anti-aging, looking at what else there is to heal you other than the very traditional standard of care. There is so much out there. There is so many of us on the planet that I often feel, my educational experience and my knowledge of medicine, I have always wanted to know more. Why does this happen? Why does that happen? It has taken me all over the world looking at different experiences because not everyone has the same health care experience you or I might have. It’s fascinating for me to be able to have the opportunity to do things like that: study with medicine men in Africa, study with ayurvedic practitioners in India, Eastern philosophies as well.
Hugh: I love it. I’m a musical conductor by training. I teach people how to build high-performing cultures. People would say, “What does a conductor know about leadership?” I say, “A conductor knows about leadership.”
FP: Aren’t you leading a band?
Hugh: That’s right. They’re all performing different instruments with different personalities. We create the harmony and the synergy. The root of the name SynerVision is the synergy that we create through a common vision, being clear on what we’re about. A quote that comes to mind when you talk about that is from Ralph Vaughan Williams, the British composer/conductor who was noted to have said, “Music did not reveal all of its secrets to just one person.” You could change music to medicine. You could change music to leadership. What you just talked about is gaining wisdom from multiple sources. We still get to decide which ones are credible or not, but what an inspiration to all those things you listed.
FP: It’s what you said. If you only learn one thing, you are going through life with blinders on, understanding that you don’t know there is more out there for you or that there is more out there than what is being told to you or from the one television station you might watch or the one radio station you might listen to or the one sportscaster that you like. There are so many other opinions out there. That is why for me, in order to be a well-rounded physician, I think that’s the only way to do it. You have to understand as a doctor what makes the person tick, and you have to understand what is wrong with them. Those are two completely different issues. It’s important to me to have learned that fact. A lot of standard medical doctors, especially in the West, do not understand there is a person behind the diagnosis. You can fix the diagnosis, but the person will still not be fixed.
Hugh: You can say the same thing about leadership. I’m pleased to tell you that my integrative doctor here has gone out of the insurance system, and it’s a DPC, direct physician care. I pay him monthly, so he is well versed in all the things you’re talking about.
Let’s talk a little bit about the Dr. Fred Show. Where can people find it?
FP: The Dr. Fred Show is on YouTube. We have just started running snippets of them on Instagram. They are little one- to two-minute episodes of, “Here is the latest in the medical news today.” Here is a tidbit of information you might want. Here is a quick snack recipe. It goes from my take on health and offering up alternatives. There are probably 100 shows on there, and we do them regularly. I am starting to do them virtually, which makes it easier than having to go into a studio. It’s quick snippets of information. Maybe the max is two to three minutes long. It’s a great way of getting tidbits of knowledge.
Hugh: It’s at DrPescatore.com. You can find the landing page that will direct you to the videos. I could talk about this topic all day. When I was getting my Masters in choral conducting, I was 50. I was the oldest boy in my class. I spent half of my time in the library studying nutrition, looking at all of the resources in addition to my music studies. That is a whole different body of knowledge. Since then, there is a new body of knowledge about leadership. We want to give our listeners some ideas of possibilities. I know in this time of lockdown, some people are getting discouraged. We don’t have our social network. We are missing our synergy. We try to give people insights on possibilities on this show. How does medicine and philanthropy connect?
FP: Medicine and philanthropy go hand in hand, and they always have from the beginning of time. If you look back, people did not sign up to be a doctor. They did not go to medical school. They were called healers. They did it because they felt a calling, they felt they had the ability, they had some knowledge to do it, they were rooting through herbs and roots to find anything that could help heal people. Medicine and philanthropy have gone hand in hand throughout time. I just think as we developed into modern medicine, where it became more profit-driven and less people-driven, is where we lost the way in my mind in how well philanthropy and medicine go. If you just think about all the volunteer systems in hospitals, and the aid organizations that are medical-related, from Doctors Without Borders to the Red Cross to UNICEF, most organizations have a medical philanthropic arm to them. Most people in the medical field are here to help and give back. That’s how I got involved in the official version of philanthropy. I was a volunteer at my hospital my entire life from when I was nine or ten, whenever they let me in. I was always giving back, but I didn’t know the term until recently.
Hugh: When I was young, they didn’t let children into hospitals. You had to be an adult. I had the pleasure to work with PAMS: Peruvian American Medical Society. It’s Peruvian doctors doing mission trips to Peru because there are a lot of people in Peru without medical care. That’s another good connection to philanthropy and medicine.
We have this word that some people don’t know how to spell: philanthropy. What does that mean to you?
FP: What it means to me is just giving back. I wanted to look up the root of this word. I’m sure you know what it is. Just like the word “doctor” started in Greek for “teacher.” Whatever the root is, to me, it’s as simple as giving back. Most people think of philanthropy as writing checks. I don’t ever think about it that way. Of course, you will donate something. What a huge space philanthropy has become now. When you think about GoFundMe and all the things we can do on the Internet in terms of the money part, for me, philanthropy is giving of myself. I will dedicate one month a year of my time and services to places like PAMS does, to places that are underserved medically, that can use some teaching and some bringing up to date, bringing what they do and how they deliver care up to date. I even have a degree in public health, so I have the administrative component as well. I like to bring that knowledge. Philanthropy is giving of yourself, in whatever way. I don’t care.
Hugh: That’s brilliant. The root words are philos and anthropos, love and humankind. You have given it a direct, purposeful application, which I love. We forget about hospitals and how much we need philanthropists to show up as volunteers.
FP: We sure do. We certainly could not have gotten through the crisis we just went through in New York City without volunteers. I was a volunteer. After I saw my patients during the day, I volunteered at Bellevue Hospital to do whatever they needed done. Hospitals are in need of more and more help because the more hands you have, the more hands-on you can become, the more time you have to take care of people, the more time you have to listen to what they have to say. That is critical in medicine: listening to what people have to say.
Hugh: With your eyes and ears.
FP: Absolutely. You are the whole gestalt. What a patient tells you and what you are asking them are often two different things. You have to take the time to get to know that about an individual or just to get that ability to read through what someone is telling me. What are they really trying to say? That’s important in leadership.
Hugh: It occurs to me, and it has for quite a while, that we’re better leaders if we take care of ourselves. It could be love of self first. When you get on a plane, they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first before you help your neighbor. If you’re dead, you can’t help them.
FP: That is true. True enough. I am not so sure that is the same in medicine. That is why doctors have one of the highest rates of suicide in the United States. A lot of us don’t practice self-care and don’t take care of ourselves. It’s a really bad system. I exercise. I eat right. I take vitamins. I do everything I need to do. I haven’t taken a vacation yet this year. That is one part of self-care I have not done. I need to do that soon.
Hugh: I have four leadership principles. The fourth one is balance, which is about caring for self because that makes everything else work. I do know that a lot of physicians I have known in the past have really worked so hard that they are stressed by the amount of work. You are in a stressful occupation. There are other ones, too, like being a policeman or a clergyperson. None of us have a corner on that market. When did you first become aware of this element of philanthropy? You said you volunteered early. How did you become a philanthropist?
FP: I started volunteering at hospitals when I was a teenager when you could get your work permit. I would volunteer all the time. It was a big passion of mine. Volunteering at hospitals was always something I knew I wanted to do. It wasn’t until later in life, maybe after meeting Bob Hopkins and learning exactly just how to be able to put my skillset to use in a different way, in a way that could encourage other people to either donate money to have a cause. For me, it immediately hit me: What can I do as a human being to help other people? That is when I said to myself, “You used to do that all the time at a hospital when you were volunteering as a kid. Why don’t you take that same opportunity and use it now?” That big dawn about a decade ago that said I actually have value for other people, whether it’s teaching a skill or opening up people’s minds to other people.
One of the things, and this doesn’t have anything to do with philanthropy, but I think it does. I have written nine books and countless newsletters. The thing I liked the most or I am proud of the most is I wrote a letter to the editor of Conde Nast Traveler. They were going on and on about how we shouldn’t visit Myanmar because the government is horrible. I had gone to Myanmar at that point three times. I wrote a letter saying the only way a lot of people in countries of that kind will learn about others is through human to human interaction because their government is going to tell them we are horrible people, we are the Devil, we are this and that. If you actually show someone who you are and what you represent, that is invaluable to a lot of people. That is when I realized human interaction in and of itself can be philanthropic.
Hugh: Amazing. I served PCUSA and UMCs of up to 12,000 members. When we invite people into the culture, we say that you expect to participate with your time, talent, and gold, gifts, money. There is a triple pledge. To me, that is a rounded view of what philanthropy is. You’re all in. I’m in a place now that I can do some giving to organizations. It is important, but it is more important to be there and make sure that vision is fully implemented. Not that you’re taking it in, but you’re a part of making it happen.
FP: That’s the whole point. If someone opens up your mind, like Bob did for me, and you open up someone else’s mind, it makes people realize that we could live in a happier and healthier place for all of us if we learned to give of ourselves to someone else and not always put ourselves first. Yes, we talked about self-care, and self-care is important. Imagine if we all did something for someone else every day. Even if it was to smile at someone. Now you can’t smile at someone because of masks.
Hugh: Smile with your eyes.
FP: You have to smize. Even in this challenging time, there is something you can do for other people that means something. It takes the anger away. It takes some of the loneliness away that people have. So many people feel isolated. A lot of people can feel so isolated because it’s a big city and people ignore you wherever you go. It’s important for all of us to know that we are all powerful, philanthropic machines. That doesn’t mean we have to be the ones like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation giving away billions of dollars. They are powerful, but so are you. Each and every one of us is powerful to make changes. It’s the butterfly effect.
Hugh: You heard it right here. Every one of us is important. Everything we do is important. We contribute to the whole. That is fascinating.
FP: Whether we do something bad or good, it’s the same effect. If we’re doing nasty things to people or being unpleasant or unkind, that also has repercussions down the road.
Hugh: It does. I just participated in a celebration for a friend of mine who died two and a half weeks ago of COVID. He was very compromised health-wise. He got it, and it got in his lungs, and he had some blood coming up. He was texting one minute and gone the next. I participated with 2,500 people online in a seven-hour celebration. But he created a business growth conference, a membership community called CEO Space. The culture of the space is it is a networking place where you pay to join. They tell you, “Don’t ask for anything. Go up to someone and ask what they’re working on, what do they need next, and how can you help them.” If that paradigm wouldn’t have changed the culture, I don’t know what would. Everyone on that call was part of that culture. Everyone on that call was a giver. Philanthropy is giving of self. How important is that right now when we are in this strange time?
FP: This is the best time you can do this. It’s the time we all have to take care of each other. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not just taking care of me; it’s taking care of all of us.
Hugh: Absolutely. You’re better if you’re strong and rested and balanced. You’re a better physician and better help for others. You mentioned Bob Hopkins. I believe you were in his book Philanthropy Misunderstood. Tell us a little bit about your story in that book.
FP: The story in the book tells people about how my story developed. I mentioned it more today than I did in that story. I live an extraordinarily blessed life, I think. I have an amazing practice. I have been able to write books. I am an influence on the world of internal medicine, complementary medicine. We talk about self-care. For me to stay grounded in who I am as a doctor and what it really means to practice medicine, it’s important that I go back to places where I go to the base level of medicine. People are dying from diarrhea when you can give them Vitamin A, which costs a penny. That stops their death from diarrhea. To go from this fancy practice that I have with people flying in on private jets, blah blah, for me to go to some place where I have to take care of someone who can’t even afford to have normal saline. They are so dehydrated from living on the Equator, and some person beats them up and they are left to die in the middle of nowhere when all they need is hydration. To contribute to people and places like that, and to teach the staff what to look for is amazing.
In my second trip to a place called Bagamoyo, Tanzania, it was a sleepy town about 80 miles north of Dar at the time. One hospital for the whole region. I would only take care of the women because the men were only in the hospitals through fighting each other. The women were only in the hospitals because the men would beat them all up. I am not going to help the men; I am only going to help the women.
This one woman comes in, and the doctor literally just said, “She’s dying. That’s it.” I said, “She’s not dying.” I told the nurses to get two lines in. “Her family’s not here to buy the stuff.” I said, “Here’s the money. Go and get it.” They always tell you not to give the money, but this woman was dying, and it was less than a dollar. Just go get everything I need. Long story short, ten minutes later, she’s sitting up telling us what happened as if nothing had happened. Her brain was working again. She was living on the Equator, having been beaten up, and was completely dehydrated. They were writing her off as dead. If I could make them think about that one time or two more times or ten more times, then my entire going there for 30 days was worth it. Bagamoyo has been bought by the Chinese actually, and they are now putting in a container port there.
Hugh: I drink coffee in the morning that I roast fresh from Tanzania. It’s really good stuff. I don’t think I want to live there.
FP: No, it’s not for the faint of heart.
Hugh: Or Timor or Kenya or other places where I enjoy their coffee. You have been going to some interesting places on your journeys. Tell us about some others.
FP: I have gone to Kenya, Rwanda. Rwanda was very interesting to me because of the genocide part. The interesting part about Rwanda was that I think it’s the Bill and Hillary Clinton Foundation who supported all of these hospitals there. As typically happens in that part of the world, they didn’t send people to teach them how to use the equipment. That happens a lot.
I work on this island in the Caribbean called Montserrat. They had a COVID testing machine, but no one taught them how to use it. They had to send their tests to another island and wait three or four weeks to get the results back. It happens everywhere. Now, with the Internet, and everyone being so nicely connected in some ways, I can now connect myself to the hospitals directly so I don’t have to go through NGOs that take up all your time and money. I ask the hospitals about their needs. They say, “We have all this equipment we don’t know how to use.” I say, “Fine. I will come for a month and teach you how to use all this brand-new equipment that you just got.” Meanwhile, you go outside, and people are carrying pigs and gathered around the one watering hole they have. It was surreal but fun nonetheless. I enjoy it. It’s always a good time.
Hugh: I can tell those experiences have impacted your life massively.
FP: Incredibly. I don’t understand why people don’t do it more.
Hugh: Say that again.
FP: I don’t understand why people don’t donate more of their time to whatever cause they think is good. It’s just something.
Hugh: Get off your behind and do something worthwhile. I am a part of some worldwide philanthropic movements. I am a member of Rotary and donate to the foundation. They’re partnering with the Bill Gates Foundation to eliminate polio, and they are pretty close. The general board of the Methodist Church, which looks out its window at the capital, is partnering with the Gates Foundation to eliminate malaria. Those are tens of millions of dollars in programs that are worldwide through member organizations. There is an integrity to the process and how the money is spent, but there is also a cadre of people behind the money. Are you aware of those two movements? What do you think of those?
FP: I think one of them was at the Bagamoyo Hospital. Someone was funding all of their malaria research. They had a malaria research building. It was some organization. I was more on the other side of the hospital than that was. Whatever you think, there is lots of diseases out there. We have to try to solve them in countries that can’t afford what a lot of the Western people can afford to do. Any organization like that is powerful and meaningful and has a significant impact on the lives of people who live there.
When you’re writing a check to those organizations, there are some amazing people that money hires. People who are willing to work for less money, willing to live in the middle of nowhere, willing to live in adverse conditions. I am talking about my adverse conditions. People who are willing to do the jobs that need to be done, who are willing to be boots on the ground. We need that. We have learned many times that throwing money at problems doesn’t fix the problem. You have to have the people and the money and know what you’re trying to learn and teach in that situation.
Hugh: Absolutely. You spoke about nutrition earlier on. There is a component to health and philanthropy that is teaching people what they put in their mouth makes a difference. There are lots of people who have been on your show, including a neurologist who talked about how her patients were getting worse with their prescriptions. Then she asked her mother what she should do. Her mother said, “How about ayurvedic medicine?” She is a blend of that. Another talks about the lectins in our diet. You talked about Vitamin A and Vitamin D and how those help build the immune system. Is there a partnership with building our bodies and staying healthy and building our immune system and education? How does that work together in your mind?
FP: In my mind, how that works is when I am traveling abroad to places that don’t have any sort of basic health care, I am more interested in teaching them basic health care. When I write my newsletters, when I do my Dr. Fred Show, my newsletters, I write four a week. I write one monthly one a month. I am in magazines all the time. I was on a cover this week and last week. That to me is teaching that element of nutrition. Everything I write about is nutritionally oriented because there is so much information out there about a lot of other things. Nutrition is what people are coming back to. They are coming back to basics. It’s always about basics to me.
When I was a little kid, every weekend, my grandmother and I did the shopping for the week. We would go all over New York to find the freshest chickens. I killed my own. And the fish, leaving them in the bathtub until they were ready to be killed that day. So many people want to go back to basics of what is healthy or not for them. When you think about preparing yourself and your immune system for anything that comes along, be it this pandemic or the next, if your body is in good shape, you will be able to handle things better than if it’s not. How do you keep your body in good shape? You eat correctly, sleep correctly, and exercise correctly. If you do those three things, you are pretty golden.
Hugh: Sleeping correctly. You have to do the eight-hour thing, sleeping all the way through.
FP: We have such a sleep deprivation problem in this country. It’s unbelievable. I created a protocol on sleep. People will think they can take a pill and sleep. We are all on devices all day long. You have to shut them off. You can’t have that blue light late at night. You have to get yourself ready for sleeping. We don’t just do that anymore because everything is artificially stimulated somehow.
Hugh: I can remember when I went out to feed the chickens and get the eggs, and my grandmother killed the chickens. We also got fresh fruits and vegetables from the yard.
FP: I didn’t live anywhere where we had a yard. I had to go to another borough that had farms in those days. They don’t have farms anymore, but they used to.
Hugh: You’re from New York?
FP: Yes, I am. It was challenging then. It’s challenging now. We manage. We do okay.
Hugh: You have a wonderful, gracious, enthusiastic spirit. *Sponsored by EZCard*
Mark Morris from Peru, do you have a question?
Mark Morris: I am in Pucallpa, Peru on the eastern side of Peru on the border of Brazil in the Amazon jungle.
Hugh: What brought you here today? What question or comment do you have for our guest?
MM: Our kids are on a one-week vacation, and we have a babysitter. I actually have time to attend. I am inspired by Dr. Fred’s discussion. So many points resonate with me. I hadn’t taken time to pause and consider. In our culture, from the United States, we don’t look often at health until it starts going away. Eating right, sleeping right, and exercising makes total sense. Using our time to volunteer and help people. I married a missionary and moved to Peru eight years ago, and that’s what we do. We help with food and medical. There is a community in Peru of people who are constantly sick. We have done three emergency appendectomies in the past two weeks. Another one is getting flown in today.
We have basic medical here. People don’t want to go to the hospital because they are afraid they will die from COVID. We have put a lot of kids in college and have graduates working in the medical industry now. We have people running petty cash, working in the hospital where the doctor says, “You need suture.” If they don’t have a volunteer to run across the street and buy suture, then their surgery is over. She can throw in $2, $5, $8 and save a person’s life if they are out of money. It’s having the right people in the right place at the right time, and you can make a big difference.
Hugh: Mark, you and I have known each other for 14, 15 years. You have been a philanthropist, volunteering in church settings, and now you are out there. What about philanthropy has inspired you today?
MM: You can really take your time and make a difference. We don’t have as many volunteers come down as we could use. You can volunteer in your neighborhood at home. You can volunteer abroad, like the doctor’s experiences all over Africa. It rounds you out as a person. You can connect at the person to person level. Money does not fix problems. People fix problems. Relationships fix problems. Dr. Fred is right on. Kudos to your message.
Hugh: Thank you, Mark for weighing in. Fred, do you want to respond?
FP: Mark, that was great. Thank you so much. Thanks for what you are doing. Maybe one day I will end up with you in Peru.
Hugh: Bob, do you have a question?
Bob Hopkins: I am so excited that Fred Pescatore is there with you, Hugh. It’s good to see you again. You and I worked together however many years ago in Texas. At the time, you wrote a children’s book. What was the name again?
FP: Feed Your Kids Well.
BH: I have a copy of that. We had a great time. I learned a lot. I think you changed my mind and my life. That’s why you’re in my book. One thing I’m curious about is giving and longevity and giving and self-esteem. I am telling people self-esteem has a lot to do with how you feel about yourself and giving makes you feel better. Can you tell me something about self-esteem?
FP: Giving would certainly give you an element of self-esteem because you’re doing something a lot of people are not willing to do. You’re giving of yourself. You’re giving your time. That allows you to feel proud, to have self-esteem, to generate that. If you are teaching someone another way of gaining self-esteem, to give of oneself is a selfless act. That is what a lot of people can call self-esteem.
I don’t know, Bob. That’s a hard question for me because I never do it to feel better about myself. I do it to understand myself better, if that makes sense. Because of what I do every day, and the fact that I have a thriving practice and I am successful, I don’t look for self-esteem in doing it. I look to do it as a balance for everything else I have been blessed with in my life. That is what philanthropy is for me. Being able to balance that and being able to give and receive. It’s the giving/receiving thing. If you give, you will receive something. If you receive self-esteem back, that’s amazing. That’s not what I get back. I get balance back. We all get something different out of it. That’s the beauty of philanthropy. We all have different skills. We all have different things we can do. That’s the beauty of it all. Just to acknowledge you, the fact that you opened my eyes up to what the word can mean, I think a lot of people have a strict definition of what philanthropy means. I thank you. I thank everybody who takes part in this and spreads the word and educates people about what they can do to be philanthropic. It’s not just about writing a big check that’s on TV.
BH: The reason I ask this question is when I do something good for someone, it makes me joyful. I am joyful because of the response that they give me: “Thank you,” and a hug and praise and maybe a thank-you note. Therefore, I know to feel joyful again. It was probably not just an accident that something happens, but it’s my determination to go do something else for someone else again. It’s a repetitive thing for me, knowing that I will get a good result if I do something good. It’s almost on purpose that I know that about me that gives me a reason to be a better person, I suppose.
FP: This is another way of learning about yourself. When you give and see the feedback that you get, and you see maybe the next time you do it differently, be more culturally sensitive this way. We are learning as well when we do this stuff. I don’t come in as the be-all end-all expert. I am learning just as well as I am teaching. Bob, you and I are on the same track with that. Thank you.
Hugh: Bob is the model for the vitality you can get from being a philanthropist. Bob put a question in that we both have some interest in. I won’t tell you which one of us is older, but the relationship of giving and longevity he wanted to know about.
FP: How could it not increase your lifespan? When you are doing something good for someone- The people who live longest are the ones who have the most social networks, who are interactive with people, who just have networks. Being a philanthropist is part of a very big network of people around the world. You don’t realize how big it is until you’re stepping into it. It’s so easy for all of us to get so caught up in our lives that you don’t realize there is time to do anything else. The longevity part is true. Anything that makes you happy, and anything that makes you feel better and makes you feel good, increases your lifespan. Except heroin.
BH: I have not tried that yet. I’m sure you don’t suggest it.
FP: No, not on my top ten list of things to do.
BH: I do want to go to Peru. I am in contact with Mark Morris. It’s been on my bucket list for a while. It’s funny to have Mark here and say that he does stuff in Peru. I want to go. I’m hunting for things to do that have meaning. I like to do volunteer work because for some reason, when you’re paid to do it, you have to fulfill the expectation of the giver. When you do it for yourself, the joy, you do it for yourself instead of the other people. it just happens that both of you receive and give at the same time. The giving is the fun part. I don’t want to be paid because then I’d have to fulfill the needs of the receiver.
FP: Right. You’re not going there guns blazing, it’s my way or the highway. You’re learning your audience as well every time you step into a different situation.
BH: I’m doing some work in Bangladesh right now. I’m doing a course with an anthropologist in Bangladesh called Anthropology and Philanthropy. I’m learning a little bit about that topic. I don’t know if you know anything about it or not, but I am having a good experience with that. My next book Philanthropy Understood will be about that Bangladesh experience.
FP: Fantastic. That’s great. Keep it up. You do a lot of great work, thank you.
Hugh: Bob is an inspiration. Thank you for sharing. Dr. Fred, we have been locked up a lot. Some of us haven’t been able to do the interpersonal connecting. We can’t go to church like we did before. We can’t go to the food bank. We can’t go to places where we just used to show up. Kids aren’t going to school. There is a detriment to our emotional wellbeing. Do you have any ideas? This term social distancing is so stupid. We are more social than ever online, but we have to physical distance.
FP: I forget what they wanted to change socially distancing to. Some other word. It’s such a derogatory term really, to socially distance yourself from people. We don’t want to socially distance ourselves from people. We are humans. We are pack animals. But to your point, I have been writing a lot about that in my newsletters. How do you stay in contact without having that physical contact, especially if you are concerned about your elderly parents? A lot of people are concerned because the world is very much seamless these days. What I have been trying to teach people to do is to use this time to learn something about yourself, to learn something that you’re good at. I have been encouraging people to learn how to cook. This way, you can cook with the family.
The other thing I have realized in this situation is there are family groups who have never spent this much time together, ever. I get all sides. I get, “Oh yeah, this has been a great experience for us because my husband is finally around and can eat dinner with the kids.” I also get, “Oh my god, I haven’t spent this much time with my kids in years. Please let them move out again.” It’s the gamut of everything I am experiencing when I am talking to people. We have to be able to know, we have to be comfortable, we have to follow guidelines.
I FaceTime with people now around the world that I usually would just text with or an occasional WhatsApp phone call. Now we are in contact all the time. It’s been more contact, not less. Less hugging, but more people actually taking the time out of their day to reach out and make sure that you’re okay and vice versa. That’s how we can make this a positive experience and not a negative one. I believe getting children back to school should take precedence over bars and restaurants reopening. I am going to say that.
Hugh: I’ll Amen that. You have a lot of colleagues behind you, including pediatricians. What philanthropy does is unite us around the things that matter. I have spent some time in the streets of Atlanta when Martin Luther King, Jr. was doing sit-ins in 1963/1964, these nonviolent protests. He was a gracious and direct presence. He was not mean or hostile, but he spoke very directly and had these strong principles. Model after Jesus. Model after Gandhi. He had some good coaches. That is a good model to show up, be genuine, and connect people. People came together. It was sad to be at his funeral a year later. We don’t have to die to have impact in people’s lives.
What can we do to beef up our immune system? We hear Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Lysine. What can we do to fortify ourselves and our immune system?
FP: There are plenty of things to fortify our immune system. The things that have been used during this particular virus situation are Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and zinc. Zinc is taken as a lozenge because that’s where the virus goes, and the zinc kills the virus. Vitamin A keeps our mucus running so the virus doesn’t get stuck there. Vitamin D, and large doses, we’re talking 10,000 units a day. Vitamin C, you should be taking at least 3,000 mg a day. We are one of two or three mammals on the planet that don’t produce Vitamin C. Us and some little mouse. We should be taking 3,000 mg of Vitamin C every day no matter what. That has kept my immune system up and running. I haven’t been sick one day, and I have seen patients every single day throughout this whole thing.
Hugh: An inspiration. Your color is good. Your demeanor is good. Your energy level, I’m inspired. I am going to take my vitamins. Dr. Fred, where can people find you? Dr.Pescatore.com talks about the Dr. Fred Show.
FP: My books are there. My newsletter is there. Everything you want to know about me is Googleable. You can find me pretty much anywhere unfortunately.
Hugh: What do you want to leave people with today?
FP: I want to challenge everyone to look through their day and find one thing that either makes them angry, upset, stressed, annoyed, some negative emotion, and change the story.
Hugh: Dr. Fred, it’s been so great having you. Thank you for a wonderful interview today.
FP: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.