Every day a million people flow the street, their faces blank
They talk but do not ever meet.
They all have important things to do.
They all have things to watch on TV.
‘Cause they all watch life safe from a distance.
They all touch love safe from a distance.
We live in a culture that has become mechanized, advertised as optimized. We live in a time of speed dating, avatars and “social” media, moving toward a society that lacks a truly social context. In each respect, the industrialization of personhood moves us further from that which we once thought made us human.
Meanwhile, modern medicine, has it feet firmly planted in the soils of mass production for mass consumption. Medicine now views patients as representative charts, papers, graphs and readouts, rather than interactive organisms yearning for a therapeutic touch, both physically and emotionally.
But I want it!
And I need it!
Come and touch me!
Come and reach me!
Through a distance…
‘Cause we all live life safe from a distance,
But my heart will bleed through all this distance,
And my voice will cry all through the distance.
To address individuality and variability is inefficient; it requires time, understanding, and empathy, all things that mechanization cannot account for. Clinicians must be productive, so they see the next patient and then the next, running after a carrot that is hanging forever out of reach as they scurry past their patients unaware that they need something more. Their patients require something that is intangible and unquantifiable, something human, something that modern and industrialized medicine fails to offer: care.
Instead, clinicians continue to look at their monitors and tablets, scanning through computerized analyses in an effort to discover the reason for their patient’s maladies. The clinician has become a processor, assimilating information from devices and gadgets that sensor their patient’s response. This is more efficient, affording them the time to see more patients, allowing them to make more money. Motivated, they move at a blistering pace to an end that they do not yet understand, but Daniel Gildenlow does:
But we lost it all.
When we turned life into a road.
A direction towards a goal.
Ending where no one really wants to go.
And so my friend.
Welcome to the end.
All who won’t pretend.
All who cannot mend.
All who lost themselves.
On life’s dusty shelves:
No one ever wins.
We’re but mortal kings.
Of passing things.