Some of you might say that you’re a doctor, a lawyer or a priest (that sounds like the start of a joke, doesn’t it?). Others might say you’re a housewife, a factory worker, or an engineer. I remember hearing a friend of mine answer that question in a round circle setting and she said something like “what I do is I’m a consultant, but who I am is something different.” That gave me pause for thought and brought back a memory.
I was at a celebration for a successful fundraising event and the chairman of the board for the organization asked me “what do you do?” Thoughts ran through my head on how to answer this relatively mundane question that should have been a fairly simple answer “I run a successful IT consulting company”, but I couldn’t get those words to come out. In what was probably only a second or two, but which seemed like an eternity for me, the words that finally came out were “I help people” and strange as it may sound, that just felt right. In the IT consulting business that I run, that’s exactly what we do. We help people. We help organizations solve challenges that they have, and the better we help them, the more they ask us to help them again. It’s a fairly simple model when your focus is on helping others, and being of service. And that premise is probably the biggest reason for our success.
Over the past couple of years I have developed another passion as a result of being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis. While the IT consulting business is my “day job”, I have come to understand a lot about autoimmune disease and I have started challenging my own belief systems. I have been blogging about this for several months and I have achieved a lot of personal growth as a result of this new found passion. My belief systems today are quite different than they were two years ago. I have received tremendous support for the stories I’ve shared in my blog and I have met some amazing people along the way, a whole new set of friends and colleagues with a passion for understanding dis-ease and illness, and doing our part to make a difference. I regularly converse with doctors and other health care practitioners, people who have been diagnosed with dis-ease, and people that have been touched by dis-ease through friends, relatives or co-workers. The discussion almost always comes around to “there has to be a better way” and “what can we do about it?”
In a discussion with one of my colleagues last week, the same question came up, “what would you call yourself?” In this case “we help people” didn’t feel quite right, and what I blurted out was “health care evolutionary”. That seemed to have a certain ring to it, so I’ve let it ruminate in my head for a week or so and it still sounds right.
What is a health care evolutionary? And why not a health care revolutionary?
For me, revolution sounds and feels like a battle. And a battle has a winner and a loser. I don’t see it that way. I see it as a natural process in that we as a society learn to adapt to new knowledge. As we learn more, our belief systems change and we evolve naturally. In my most recent blog “Our Bodies Can Heal”, I wrote about a changing belief system in which a belief of the seemingly impossible accomplishment of running a sub four minute mile first became probable, then inevitable, until the milestone was ultimately achieved … several times.
I recently spoke with a friend who works at a sugar refinery and he commented that sales were down quite a bit. While this may have been a blip, the thought that went through my mind was that as people’s belief systems toward sugar were changing and more and more people were trying to cut back, a logical result would be that sugar sales would be down. We’ll see if the trend continues but it certainly makes you think doesn’t it? And to me this is an evolution of sorts as we adapt to new knowledge and change our behaviour accordingly.
Well I see the same thing happening with our health care system as we learn to listen to the messages our bodies give us that help us prevent dis-ease in the first place, and the body’s ability to heal itself from dis-ease when that does happen. But I don’t see this as a revolution. If this is shoved down our throats, we would hardly listen. But as more and more people start to hear and share stories of success and belief systems start to shift ever so slightly, I believe that change is inevitable. It’s a movement. It’s an evolution. And as the graphic at the top of this blog attempts to show with humour, our health care system and how we deal with illness and dis-ease has been on its own path of evolution for thousands of years. Our bodies can heal, and it’s time for some evolutionary thinking and action.
Maybe this story is the one that shifts your belief system ever so slightly, or maybe it’s the first time you’ve thought about the idea. Maybe you think this is a lot of hooey, but then you hear someone else talking about the same type of thing next week. Maybe you’re already an evolutionary and you have a tribe of folks that can’t wait to hear your thoughts and beliefs. Maybe you know someone personally who has been miraculously healed, or maybe you’ve heard a few stories. Maybe if you ask your circle of friends if they’ve ever heard of such a thing, one or more of them will share a story about someone they know or heard of that had been healed.
I believe that the shift is ever so subtle. There really does have to be a better way.
Could it be as simple as a slight change in our belief systems?
What do I call myself? Well Superman may have been “Clark Kent, beat reporter” by day with a superhero alter-ego when called upon, I think I am an IT consulting business man by day and a “health care evolutionary” when called upon.
What would you call yourself? Are you a health care evolutionary? Can we call upon you when needed? Are you part of the evolution?
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