Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wisdom And Context

There is knowledge.  Practiced by smart looking physicians in pressed pants and starched button down shirts.  They scurry through hospitals and clinics with an air of sophistication and an all knowing attitude. This behavior is learned through years of studying, learning, forgetting, and then learning once again.  There is a misguided tendency to worship at the altar of this impotent mistress.  Education never cured the ailing mind nor heart, much less the body.

As I wander down this zig-zagging path, I find myself much less enamored by knowledge.  One only has to search out the right stone to look under.  Yet I stumble over and over again on patient care.  What has been gained in comprehension takes a back seat to something far more important and difficult to decipher.


Like a blind man, I have searched for it with my hands, grazing the indentations but unschooled in the markings of braile. Like a deaf man, I have stared wisdom in the face but have been unable to read her mesmerizing lips.  I have tried to taste without a sense of smell.

My books have no power here.

As of late, I have begun to search for wisdom in the exam room. Who better to learn from than the octagenerian lawyer, or the middle aged playwright.  With the deepening of conversation the patient loses the disease moniker.   They become more defined by who they are and less by what is wrong with them.

I have now started to understand the person, and it has made all the difference.

Knowledge is an algorithm.

Wisdom is context.

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