2005-03-25 - 4:51 p.m.
I was searching the internet for statistics on how many people die of starvation each day when I ran across, by chance, the following quote:
"Consultants sanctimoniously select one in every five Englishmen who are afflicted with kidney failure and condition him to desire the scarce privilege of dying in protracted torture on dialysis. Much time and effort during the treatment is used in prevention of suicide during the first and sometimes second year that the artificial kidney may add to the lives of the patients."
(Ivan Illich, Medical Nemesis, later titled Limits to Medicine.)
Thanks, Ivan, that cheered me up no end.
In other news, there is no other news. Work is fairly demanding, both in terms of time and effort and in terms of being emotionally... um, not draining exactly but demanding. You have to care about these little people who are... in your care. You have to care about them but the relationship is not a reciprocal one; some of them give you more than you give them, probably more than they realise, others give you nothing, and... you kind of can't hold it against them. Because it's not meant to be a reciprocal relationship... hmm. It's not easy. But, still, that said, I'm glad I'm doing it because it does feel like it's worthwhile, ultimately.
There's something that Thich Nhat Hanh says about accepting gifts... that people kind of close themselves off to the plethora of gifts that the world offers to them because they're set on a particular set of gifts which they believe they're entitled to and which they sort of... refuse to do without. I wonder... is my unease at being appreciated for reasons I don't regard as "correct" a form of this ingratitude? Hmm.
I like to be appreciated. Yes, yes I do.
"What you girls gonna tell your mothers?
I don't wanna hear another word about young lovers" - Elvis Costello