Maxine's Journal

Adventures of the Polka-Dotted One

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More Self-Evident Epiphanies - Human Beings.
Ever put up a blog post and then realise only days later you've left out the most important part?

So I posted yesterday about the concept of Self-Evident Epiphanies, but forgot what the burning reason I wanted to talk about it actually was.

Last week I had another Self-Evident Epiphany that I found both utterly banal, and yet deeply inspiring, and it goes as follows:

Every person I have ever admired, every person in power, and every famous person who ever existed was, or is, a human being.

I mean, honestly, take away the crowns, the robes, the uniforms, the bodyguards, the sound technicians, special effects artists, hyperbole and magical thinking, and what have you got? Just people. Making the best decisions they know how.

I mean, think about it. George Bush... is a person. Margaret Thatcher... is a person, Winston Churchill... was a person. Che Guevara, now a near-meaningless T-shirt icon... was a person. Queen Boadicea was a person. Martin Luther King was a person. Emmeline Pankhurst was a person. Lucy Stone was a person. Einstein was a person. Stan Lee, creator of so many superheroes, is a person. Joan of Arc was a person. Buddha. Was a person. Mohammed. Was a person. Jesus Christ. Was a fricking person. Every hollywood actor you know about... is a person. Every musician you've heard of, is a person. Britney Spears, love her or hate her, is a person. Pretty much everyone you've ever heard of, with the exception of fictional characters (and even including some of those - I mean, for example, Saint Nicholas, before he was Santa Claus, he was a person), everyone who had a part in building the world we live in is or was a person. Some of them started out with advantages, others didn't, but every single one of them is or was a person, making the best decisions they know how.

Clearly I'm not the first person to have this sort of thought - After all, it's Self-Evident. Here's Richard Feynman talking about having a 'Healthy Disrespect For Authority'
(Ed. 6/1/2012 - Oops, link broke! A new one can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhD0MxacnIE )

But why is this important? Because sometimes I catch myself making excuses, telling myself it's okay to not even try to change the world, even when it hurts me, because it's a big world, and I'm just one person. Sometimes I make decisions that are a bit feeble, and I tell myself it's okay, because I'm only human.

But everyone I've ever admired, every person in power, and every famous person who ever existed was, or is, a human being.

And so are you.


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:-) this particular SEE is why my teachers either love me or hate me - I can't see them as "better than" or "above" me, they're just people who happen to know more than me (sometimes) in a particular subject.

It's also how I can go out drinking with my shop teacher or my boss, still follow instruction the next day on the set, and tell them to "fuck off" when they're being assholes :-)

Heh, the thing I laugh at myself for is that I've alway felt that way too, about teachers, authorities, so called 'superiors' - they're just people, some of them are good people, some of them are not so good people, but they're all human beings (and so are my parents, for that matter - I don't think they're too keen on relating to me on that level though, hey ho). Yet somehow where it comes to that stuff about changing the world, and my ability to influence other people and/or my environment, I hadn't quite made that logical step. Daft, no?

(Did you get in trouble at school for calling teachers out on shit they were wrong about, too? I know I did. Smart enough to know I was right and they were wrong, but not smart enough to handle it tactfully!)

Oh absolutely! My last time through college, I was going back to get a technical theatre degree (after I had been working as a lighting tech for about 17 years), and in the first week, I got into an argument with the lighting teacher over terminology. He was giving out names of instruments, including their common nicknames. He left one out. I mentioned it. He said "No, it's not a Leko, that's the name of a company that went out of business in the '70s."

I said "Yes, I know that, but since they made the first of these types of lights, they are still called Lekos, just like all tissues are called Kleenex."

He said "Well, it's wrong, they're not called Lekos."

I said "I know it's not correct, but that's still what they're called. My coworkers called it that just last night."

He said "You must work at some small community theater where they haven't kept up with the times yet. Where do you work?"

I said "last night, I worked for Kiss and Aerosmith, the week before that I worked for Metallica, and last month I worked for the touring Broadway cast of Phantom of the Opera."

He had no response and went on with the lesson. So a couple of days later, at work, I took a picture of a brand new from-the-factory box with that lighting instrument in it, that had a label on the outside with a picture of the instrument, and the words "Source Four Ellipsoidal - LEKO", I printed the picture, and hung it on the announcement board in the lobby of the department.

He refused to acknowledge me in class again that semester, until I got assigned to him as his lab assistant and he was required to address me.

Doctors are human too :-).

Ooh, I wish my GPs would remember that!

I guess I have the advantage of past experience in medical informatics, so I can talk to my GP as an equal. But... to be honest, if your GP(s) aren't willing to treat you as an equal and themselves as human, you might be wise to find a different GP. One who's willing to go through their reasoning and allow you to examine it!

I've a background in medical science myself (pharmacology), so I know what I'm on about, but I've still rarely found a GP who's willing to be anything other than utterly patronising, even about conditions I've had for years and am clearly an expert on. It's also especially difficult to build up any sort a rapport in London where the turnover of both patients and doctors is huge, and the practice I go to is large enough that I rarely see the same practitioner twice.
I did try registering with a GP I'd had a recommendation for, who was apparently cool with sexuality and poly issues as well, but was turned away for not quite being in the 'catchment area'. D'oh.

The last couple of years I've simply found it easier to be a bit manipulative, treat them as automatons, feed in only the information that will get the treatment I already know I need, and wait for them to reach the conclusion I've already arrived with (On the few occasions I've actually been stumped, it's always meant a referral.). It's quicker, saves me having to spend ten minutes explaining my credentials every time, and doesn't end with us being cross at each other so often - they're always proud to have 'solved' the problem.

I have often fantasised about the idea of a 'competent patient' scheme, that allows you to bypass a GP for certain types of treatment given an appropriate level of understanding (which would of course be revoked if people demonstrated lack of judgement in their use of it). *sigh*

I'd settle for a "competent doctor" scheme, personally. And, no, the current system ain't it.

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