Saturday, February 27, 2021

Helping our patients zoom out from the belief of “Life should be fair”


Following onto the theme of “zooming in” and “zooming out” in our previous posts, how can we apply it to a particular relevant thought, belief or value.

We all know the importance of justice, fairness, and equality in society. It’s a common theme in our society, as well as in our consult rooms.

Without it, society would not work. Like everything, there’s balance. Too much of anything, including the “good stuff”, can cause expected or unexpected issues.

So, if we can represent our thoughts and feelings around “equality” and “fairness” on a piece of paper, and apply the “zoom in”, “zoom out” function to that, what can we see?

If we are super “zoomed in” onto it at the “OCD” unhealthy level, “fairness” may become more of an obsession, where we demand that “all things MUST be fair and equal”. This is going to create unhealthy stress because how can it always be at an intellectual level. We can certainly try to create equal opportunity, but to create equal outcome, it will require ironically, some “unfair” measures.

When we “zoom out” a bit more, it becomes “Life SHOULD be fair”. At this level, it can also be a bit stressful, and may be problematic. We see this a lot in our patient population.

“Zoom out” a little bit further and it becomes, “It would be nice if life is fair and I will do my part to make it fair. I will help those in need and who are less fortunate”.

“Zoom out” a bit more and we may find, “It is what it is”.

“Zoom out” a bit more and we may see, “Life is not fair, and I don’t care”.

The real question is, are you or your patients stuck on any of these “zoom level”, and is it at a healthy or unhealthy level for their context.

If we are not aware or can’t find our “zoom function” in life, we risk a life of unhealthy stress, ongoing conflict, and failure.

So, do we need to “zoom in” more or “zoom out” more? And at what level of zoom do we think is most healthy for this particular context?


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