How many times have you heard a business person say:
“That’s a good idea, but the bottom line is…” or
“We’d love to do that but the bottom line is…”
Businessmen seem to love to say, “The Bottom Line is”
Most likely they mean well, but they seem unable to see another side of reality.
The bottom line means only one thing: buying and selling.
What a strange and unsatisfying foundation for health care– for life.
I write this to help us think twice about what we’ve come to accept as normal. Normalcy is the way things appear to be not the way things are or should be.
Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not a bleeding heart trying to rid the world of all evil. I managed a private practice for nearly 40 years trying to make a profit– most days. Today I have bills to pay in my online mentoring business.
What I’m saying is the overemphasis on making money providing health care is not normal– not healthy.
The Judeo-Christian tradition sees reality through a different lens. The human body is a temple–a sacred place.
The one thing that drove Jesus to anger and violent action was the buying and selling in the temple.
Opportunistic businesspeople were taking advantage of the vulnerable and needy to make money, whatever and wherever the market would bear. The marketplace crowded its way inside the temple walls.
It threatened the sacred place of safety and spiritual healing.
Jesus wouldn’t stand for it. Neither should we.
When we allow buying and selling to have free reign in our places of healing it destroys its inherent value– its sacredness.
It replaces the virtue of medicine with an utterly false way of seeing patients: as market value — a worldview where everything and everyone is a mere calculation.
This kind of bottom line thinking must be driven from our temples. It is a silent killer. It kills the souls of the patients and providers. Do you think the soul is nurtured where buying and selling is the main activity?
The preoccupation with exchange value and market position blinds us to the inherent value of caring for the sick. The dignity of every person.
The objectification of the sick into a means of making a profit will never satisfy the soul because it masks reality.
People are more than their diagnosis and diseases. Therapies are more than a commodity to deliver with a machine-like efficiency to maximize the bottom line.
Our patients are our brothers and sisters to be cared for as whole persons–physiologically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. We want to be treated that way when we’re sick.
Seeing people as they really are, is to reimagine the truth about the delivery of health care. Seeing reality as it is.
That’s the foundation of a “healthy” health care system. Care that’s given by caring people in compassion and skill to honest to goodness real people.
Now that’s a bottom line worth living for.
Excellent post Paul. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Jon, how did the open house go?
Thank you for this fresh viewpoint, Paul. I like where you are coming from!
Thanks Betsy, I’m looking forward to hearing more about your progress soon.
I couldn’t agree more! Thanks writing this!
Karen, I appreciate your comment. I’m pondering how to keep the main thing the main thing and still pay the bills. It looks like it will need to be done outside the broken healthcare system. I guess Jesus did it that way too.