Friday, 28 November 2008

The zebra that couldn't run

I met Enrique Marquez during a summer holiday in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. He is a success that a tourist can't possibly miss.

Marquez does no advertising. He doesn't need to. If you ask any local to recommend you a doctor, you will always get the same answer. "Enrique Marquez."

I was having pain in my back, and my idea of a solution was to pay a visit to a doctor and get some pills.
A hotel waiter first mentioned Marquez' name to me during breakfast. "If you are sick, Enrique Marquez will tell you what to do," explained the waiter.

He wrote Marquez' address for me on a paper napkin and a taxi took me there. Two dozen people were queueing in front Marquez' small house. I took place in the queue and waited an hour for my turn.

Enrique Marquez was an unimpressive Spaniard in his fifties and the treatment that he prescribed to me was totally predictable. Taking warm baths, eating plenty of vegetables and fish, no sweets or pastries, drinking tea, and doing gentle exercise.

Although he didn't ask for money, I gave him what I would have paid to a doctor. He put the banknotes nonchalantly inside a shoe box and wished me a swift recovery. How come that people are queuing in front of this man's door? I wondered as I returned to the street.


Marquez' treatment worked fine and, a few days later, my back pain was gone.
Out of curiosity, I began to ask around about Marquez, trying to understand why he was so popular. The answers I got were unanimous. "Marquez has never been sick for ten years."

I found hard to believe that he was never sick and, on the last day of my holidays, I went to visit Enrique Marquez again. I wanted to be reassured that what I had heard was untrue. This time, I had to queue for an hour and a half.

"I used to practise as a family doctor in Toledo, a small town in Spain,"
Marquez confessed to me. "My patients expected me to prescribe them pills and did not appreciate my preference for natural treatments. For almost twenty years, I tried to reason with them, showing them scientific studies, but it was all in vain."

"If anything, it only made me even more unpopular. I was like a zebra that talked incessantly about running but could not run itself. When I came on a holiday to Tenerife with my wife, I was depressed and seriously considering quitting the medical profession. Then, one evening, while we were playing domino with another couple in the hotel, my wife mentioned that I had never been sick for ten years."

"Not even a cold or a headache," she added. "The following morning, the man asked for my opinion on a medical condition he was suffering from. I recommended him my method, which corresponds to what I prescribed to you last week, and which nobody would consider a secret."

"The man was so happy with the results, that he started to tell around in the hotel. People began to stop me in the lobby and the elevator, asking me if it was true that I had not been sick for ten years."

"Before the end of our two-week holiday in Tenerife, I had given more consultations and made more money than in three months in Toledo. My choice to establish my practice in Tenerife was quickly made." Enrique Marquez concluded his story with a big smile. "I achieved more in one day of example than in twenty years of preaching."

When I came outside Marquez' house, I saw that now there was a bus parked in the street. The queue in front of his house had grown already to about a hundred people.
More would be coming later in the day. All of them moved by the force of personal example.


[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by derfel_ie under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The zebra that couldn't run

I met Enrique Marquez during a summer holiday in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. He is a success that a tourist can't possibly miss.

Marquez does no advertising. He doesn't need to. If you ask any local to recommend you a doctor, you will always get the same answer. "Enrique Marquez."

I was having pain in my back, and my idea of a solution was to pay a visit to a doctor and get some pills.
A hotel waiter first mentioned Marquez' name to me during breakfast. "If you are sick, Enrique Marquez will tell you what to do," explained the waiter.

He wrote Marquez' address for me on a paper napkin and a taxi took me there. Two dozen people were queueing in front Marquez' small house. I took place in the queue and waited an hour for my turn.

Enrique Marquez was an unimpressive Spaniard in his fifties and the treatment that he prescribed to me was totally predictable. Taking warm baths, eating plenty of vegetables and fish, no sweets or pastries, drinking tea, and doing gentle exercise.

Although he didn't ask for money, I gave him what I would have paid to a doctor. He put the banknotes nonchalantly inside a shoe box and wished me a swift recovery. How come that people are queuing in front of this man's door? I wondered as I returned to the street.


Marquez' treatment worked fine and, a few days later, my back pain was gone.
Out of curiosity, I began to ask around about Marquez, trying to understand why he was so popular. The answers I got were unanimous. "Marquez has never been sick for ten years."

I found hard to believe that he was never sick and, on the last day of my holidays, I went to visit Enrique Marquez again. I wanted to be reassured that what I had heard was untrue. This time, I had to queue for an hour and a half.

"I used to practise as a family doctor in Toledo, a small town in Spain,"
Marquez confessed to me. "My patients expected me to prescribe them pills and did not appreciate my preference for natural treatments. For almost twenty years, I tried to reason with them, showing them scientific studies, but it was all in vain."

"If anything, it only made me even more unpopular. I was like a zebra that talked incessantly about running but could not run itself. When I came on a holiday to Tenerife with my wife, I was depressed and seriously considering quitting the medical profession. Then, one evening, while we were playing domino with another couple in the hotel, my wife mentioned that I had never been sick for ten years."

"Not even a cold or a headache," she added. "The following morning, the man asked for my opinion on a medical condition he was suffering from. I recommended him my method, which corresponds to what I prescribed to you last week, and which nobody would consider a secret."

"The man was so happy with the results, that he started to tell around in the hotel. People began to stop me in the lobby and the elevator, asking me if it was true that I had not been sick for ten years."

"Before the end of our two-week holiday in Tenerife, I had given more consultations and made more money than in three months in Toledo. My choice to establish my practice in Tenerife was quickly made." Enrique Marquez concluded his story with a big smile. "I achieved more in one day of example than in twenty years of preaching."

When I came outside Marquez' house, I saw that now there was a bus parked in the street. The queue in front of his house had grown already to about a hundred people.
More would be coming later in the day. All of them moved by the force of personal example.


[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by derfel_ie under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]