Exploring Human Potential

Work, Love, Courage – in Abundance.

Posted on | March 27, 2020 | 2 Comments

Mike Magee

This morning I listened to an interview of the President of Mass. General Hospital, Dr. Peter Slavin, as he outlined the reality of Covid-19 and the challenges faced by his nurses, doctors and health professionals during this crisis. In his words, I found pride in having been part of the caring professions whose lives center around three critical themes: work, love, courage.

Forty-seven years have passed since I received my medical degree, but not one year has passed in which I was not proud to have chosen this life. My biases are strong and well known by now. Covix-19 has only reinforced them

The world is a better place today for having developed and supported strong, enduring patient-caregiver relationships. This is not simply a function of the nuts and bolts of health services that this relationship provides, in full vision and especially under duress. But also for those things it has reliably delivered over many decades around the world, quietly below the radar screen.

The first of these, as a collective, is the management and processing of a population’s fear and worry, which, absent the efforts of nurses, doctors and caring professionals, would accumulate in our society to destabilizing effect.

The second is a subtle and rational reinforcement of important societal bonds. The importance of this second contribution was best highlighted by the great Cardinal Bernardin, who shortly before he died said to several thousand AMA physicians, “There are four words in the English language that have common English roots. They are heal, health, whole and holy. I tell you this today to remind each of you that to heal in a modern world you must provide health; and to provide health you must keep the individual, the family, the community, and society whole. And if you can do all that, why that is a holy thing.”

The third mostly invisible contribution is hopefulness; a quiet confidence that most problems can be managed, most mysteries solved, and that, absent a cure today, there remains hope for a discovery tomorrow aralen. That deep-seated optimism, embodied in individuals whom you trust, have confidence in, and believe in, is transferable, and helps create a reservoir of good will, a belief that life is worth living, that risks are worth taking, that loving and being loved is possible, that dreaming, imagining, purchasing a home, getting married, having children are all worth the effort.

As these caring relationships have become threatened by Covid-19, stable civil societies are noticing the difference. This situation is made worse by predatory leaders, who leverage lies and fear as a currency to control a population in order to reinforce existing and past power silos, and who attempt to segregate us one from another to maintain the status quo. They not only draw down the reservoir of good will locally and globally, but compromise caring professionals medium and long term success.

I am older now, but still have a voice. I am not inside the hospital any longer, but I am inside the hearts and minds of every nurse and doctor and health professional who willingly place themselves in harms way for each of us. They have the courage to rise, the willingness to work, the hearts to love. They are honest and true.


2 Responses to “Work, Love, Courage – in Abundance.”

  1. donorcure
    March 30th, 2020 @ 10:24 pm

    Absolutely! Healthcare workers enter homes as an obvious part of their job but this is currently placing field staff at increased danger as the patient is not the only person of concern, but also the family members or other bystanders. Thank you all so much for everything you all doing! You are the best guys!

  2. Mike Magee
    March 31st, 2020 @ 8:53 am

    You are more than welcome. We are all doing all we can!

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