I’ve been pondering recently the madness of the world we live in. There is a lot of it, and somehow we have accepted it as normal ways of living and being.
- We eat things that we have no idea what’s in them.
- We have relationships with conflict, nastiness and ill-spoken words, more often than not.
- Children are stressed to the eyeballs at schools and teenagers are ‘influencer’ models on Instagram.
- Our elders often fear dementia worse than death.
These things impact us for sure, but I don’t see an overall depth of questioning or movement to create a society where these things are no longer the case.
Is it any wonder mental health problems are through the roof and we have weird and wonderful diseases left, right and centre?
Our health system is burdened with managing and changing all these things, fixing us when we need it – quickly and for the least possible cost! It’s no surprise health systems around the world struggle with managing the tide of things that comes their way. Inadequate funding to begin with, and not enough focus on health right through from the individual responsibility to institutional level, further compounds our issues.
Unfortunately, under all this, there is further not a true and deep consideration of what is happening day to day right under our noses. And if there is, I get the sense people often have no clue where to start when it comes to changing or reversing the tide of what has been created around them.
To have true consideration, we need absolute honesty as a start, which is easily marred by our own or society’s ideals, misconceptions or blatant lies we have been sold as part of our everyday transactions as we carry out life. Depth to anything we consider is equally affected by these things, and also by how ‘deep’ we, ourselves are actually willing to go.
Why point out these conundrums?
The reality is that human beings are in dire straights, with complexity in health that is going to get worse before it gets any better. Superficial quick fixes, ‘management’ as opposed to cure and championing health related targets with no relation to actual personal impacts or meaningful progress cannot be the way forward, as they currently are ingrained.
This applies for the individuals, right through to policy makers and those that are the ‘powers that be’. Creating models without true connection to what is happening every day, deeply embedded in people’s lives – and therefore what will be needed to truly resolve our dilemmas – is a disservice to all.
As I’m sure can be felt, this mess we’re all in will take time to come to harmony once again. Therefore, we cannot be in a rush when it comes to creating our needed change, or indeed make time-based targets our overall marker of success. I see people every day and know especially within General Practice, I need more time (and adequate remuneration for such!) to see people for their problems, as well as they need the space and support over that time to make change as they choose to. Forcing someone never created true lasting change.
Providing an environment with depth of understanding, support along the way, and call to responsibility when needed, to me are the necessary ingredients and are not currently part of the models I see day to day.
Am I all doom and gloom?
Absolutely not. But I am a realist. When you work every day in General Practice, you are privy to the inner workings of many, many people’s lives, families, workplaces and deepest insecurities. It is not a fun or healthy place out there for too many of the people I see, and it’s going to be awhile before this changes significantly across the board. This is in part due to individual will to make change, part due to ingrained organisations and the way they conduct themselves (workplaces, corporations, educational institutions and systems) and part due to the chaos in our homes – which are designed to be our place of rest, regeneration and support to deal with the world as it is. We need change at every level, which means every person on the planet has an important role to play.
We don’t need to be brainiacs to make this change and start to change the tide. What we do need across the board, as mentioned, is absolute honesty and willingness to go ‘there’ – go deeper beyond the superficiality our lives have become all too easily. When we do this, we give each other permission, as a starting point. Our world would be a very different place if we allowed these two very simple concepts – honesty and willingness – as practicalities.
Changing the tide
There is great simplicity in listening to and taking deep care for our bodies, getting support when we need it, and not actively contributing to the mess that is out there (physically and emotionally). Not taking our health for granted, or health care for that matter is also key. We will all need access to medical care at some point, and this is important, but the equal side to this equation is to ensure we take care of ourselves to the utmost point we can to avoid unnecessary complication – and activating the responsibility we all have for living as humans with our bodies, the vehicle we take everywhere.
Accessing the support we need in our health systems is not always easy – I know this too from personal experience in trying to support people to navigate with services. We all have access to our local MPs – federal and state (<– click the links! Or Google yours…), and these are the people who have made it their job to listen if there are these sorts of concerns and advocate for change at higher levels (where meaningful changes are made!) based on what they can see in their communities. If you have an issue, present it to them. Send them an email. Call their office. Arrange a meeting! The more we take from a broad community perspective to these people representing us – the more reality they have to work with and bring into our policy environment. If we want accountability and change within our policies, legislation and health systems – we need to start impacting them more and closing the divide between ‘the powers that be’, and us as community citizens.
Though I’ve placed the ‘No Through Road’ sign here, I don’t truly believe we don’t have a way forward. But if we continue as we are, it will be that in effect as we won’t actually be going anywhere. Enjoy pondering on what it is that you can do to start to change the tide.
We are all very impactful when we do this from a place of deep consideration, and honouring of who we are.