An eventful beginning to a new year has transpired; amid the striving and struggling in power circles, and the famous and not-so-famous voices heard on TV and the internet during contentious times. Words stuck a chord with me as women raised their voices against tyranny, “We are linked…We are not ranked” (Gloria Steinem, Women’s March on Washington 1/21/2017). Indeed, we are all connected. Something that has disconnected us historically is the belief that some are higher up, some have more power that can be wielded against the weaker. I am realising more and more that this applies in all facets of life. We are responsible to each other. We are one not better than the next…we are interrelated whether we want to be, or not.
For those of us who are working in areas of medicine, a reminder that the crisp white coat or official badge worn or advanced degrees obtained does not separate us from the feeble…those ill with disease while racing towards the finish of this life, yet inextricably linked as fellow humans. They are the real teachers of palliative care. We are linked.
In these days of uncertainty, I am studying knowledge, something sought after for centuries, even during historical periods of darkness and ignorance. According to Plato, knowledge is defined as “justified true belief”…what problems this creates for anyone reading history! Because the masses believe something to be true, does it mean it is? The Oxford dictionary’s word of the year for 2016 is “post-truth”, defined as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”.
We are linked. We are connected. We must all be truth seekers, each responsible for our own way while not hindering others to also find their path along the way.