Friday, March 9, 2012

Intentional Dependency

I read a while back of a booklet someone received about home health care. It was written for the use of missionaries going into a mission field where medical care would be unavailable, and it gave instructions for diagnosing and dealing with common medical issues -- how to set a broken bone, how to stitch a wound, "home" remedies for various illnesses, how to recognize an illness that truly requires professional attention. The owner of this wonderful book said it was one of the most valuable she'd ever read, and its information had saved them thousands of dollars in medical costs over the years.

I want that book. Why doesn't everyone have that book? Another question: would people trust and use that information if they had it, or would they still go to the doctor -- the expert -- to have it all confirmed for them? How many times do we go to the doctor "just in case", and have our gut feelings about a matter just affirmed?

I'm thinking we have all become much too helpless and much too dependent on "experts" in our society. We can't sew our own clothes. We can't fix our own cars (in Jersey they can't even fill their own gas tanks). We can't educate our own kids (or we think we can't). We also think we can't invest our own money, decorate our own houses, repair our own dishwashers, fertlize our own lawns . . . really, what are we good for?

I'm as guilty of this as any. I'm usually the one urging my husband to NOT try to do that on his own -- hire someone who knows what they're doing, who has the equipment already on hand, who's already done the trial and error of figuring it out and can get it done efficiently.

Efficiency -- that's the key. In our society, we've decided to delegate certain information and skills to certain people because there's so much information out there to know for daily survival, it's more efficient to specialize. However, with this increased efficiency comes increased dependence. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? We are designed to be a social people, to need each other, but I don't think we are designed to be a helpless people, a people who can be taken advantage of because of our lack of knowledge and skill.

Hmmm. There's an application to be drawn from this line of thought. I just think I'm too lazy to go there.

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