A thing happened this afternoon. I was talking to someone I’ve met in the past few days- she seems a lovely lady, very warm and very friendly. She brought up my plans for the rest of the summer (which involve a lot of hiking), and began to advise me on things she thought it would be handy for me to bring. Homeopathic things. I first replied with a smile and a “oh, sorry, I don’t do homeopathy but thanks!” when she first produced the ‘arnica*’. However, then she passed me over a little kit with twenty or so small bottles of homeopathic pills, including a leaflet all about homeopathy.
Here’s the thing.
My opinions regarding homeopathy mirror Ben Goldacre’s. It’s bunk. It’s been shown time and time again to have no effect whatsoever over placebo. And while I don’t want to deny people their placebos, pushing homeopathic ‘remedies’ instead of real, effective treatments can be incredibly harmful.
However, I don’t want to be rude. I really, really don’t want to be rude to people who are lovely, who are genuine. I don’t want to bring up the above when we’re all having a nice day out- it feels inappropriate and more than a little mean.
But I don’t want to lie. I really, really don’t want to lie to people who are lovely, who are genuine.
And it seems like a “Sorry, I don’t do homeopathy” simply doesn’t work, as it’s assumed that I don’t know about homeopathy if I do this. Which is interesting- it occurs to me that the reactions when I say that I don’t ‘do’ homeopathy are very different to those when I say I don’t ‘do’ religion. With the latter, people seem to be pretty cool about diversity of opinions. The former, though.. more tricky.
So, People Of The Internet, what should I do? I don’t want to be rude. I don’t want to lie. Do any of you have any inspired etiquette for me?
*homeopathic arnica. Which probably contains less arnica than, say, the bottle of surgical spirits on the shelf by me. I have no idea of the effectiveness of things which actually contain arnica.