The older I get, the more reputation I accumulate. I am an old rug.
Have you ever seen a child – their smooth, unblemished skin like marsh-mellows;
their eyes, cupcakes, (my children’s are chocolate);
the way they look at the world open-mouthed swallowing flies;
the way the world looks at them? Both sides hungry.
We say about these kids in contrast to us old property, “They have it all.” They have it all because they just have not been around for very long. They do no have a bunch of mistakes accumulated, crafted and woven into their lives; mistakes that could not be outed.
Children do not have a limited supply of first beginnings. When you have been around a while like us, first beginnings seem like they have changed their constitution. On this side of the freeway, even though we have the freedom to start over at any point in our lives, starting over means something different when you have been around.
It is not a matter of value. Being around does not devalue Me. It does not take away our worth. It does not improve our worth – the Me we speak of. Perhaps it will improve our worth in other ways or lessen it – but it won’t touch Me.
There is nothing like a veteran office staff who knows how to do everything that your office needs. That person is different from somebody out of high school. Better for the position – yes, but not a better Me. There is nothing like having a physician who has practiced for ten or twenty years and seen patients walk out angry, has seen patients die, has seen in action which treatments do what. There is nothing like a physician who has worked with a medication long enough to know the inside of it; that there is good and there are things that happen that are not so good and that when you cannot unravel those things from that therapy, you try to see it together. A more valuable physician for the job, but not a more valuable Me.
The office staff, the physician and the child have reputations. Those who have been around would take up more ink.
Treatments are like that too. The longer they have been around, the more reputation they have. It is like being at a party and you see somebody who has been to all of the parties. Somebody who has been the first to come and the last to leave, who has hurt people and been hurt and who has gossips surround them. When you see that person, you walk in the door and think, “Oh boy!” Or, “Yes! the party girl is here.” But no matter what you think of them, there is something to say about them lasting as long as they have in these circles. There’s a reason they keep getting invited and a reason they weren’t taken off lists.
A treatment that’s been around a really long time, that has gotten a bunch of heat and perhaps even been referred to as “barbaric,” has remained in circulation for reasons worth knowing. If it didn’t offer lasting and unique benefits, if it’s benefits weren’t considered greater than the risks and potential negative outcomes, if people’s lives weren’t improved more than they were damaged – that treatment, like so many others, would have extinguished on their own much earlier in history.
Questions: What do you think when you see the treatment that you have been offered. Has it been around long enough to get a reputation. Or is it the new kid, the new child with velvet for skin? Their eyes have not woven in shards of particled light that tangled the loom perhaps? You with reputations, who are older than this and still around, tell us your story.
Self-Care Tip: When considering treatments, consider their age as you consider their reputation. Be a friend to yourself.
- Reinventing Physicians: TED Talk (scienceroll.com)
- Digital Domain: On HealthTap, Advice for You and Points for Doctors (nytimes.com)
- Doctors Aim To Dispel Myths About Vaccines (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Testing remedies and trying arguments – pseudoscience vs FSM (sansscience.wordpress.com)
- New Guidelines: Diagnose Kids for ADHD at Age 4 (webmd.com)
- The danger of assumptions in medicine (medrants.com)