Friday, 4 October 2013

The Good with the Bad

Feels like I have a couple of more things left unsaid with respect to the kerfuffle I seem to have caused yesterday. On the most positive note, it gave me an opportunity to connect with someone I had worked closely with in my previous job but hadn't spoken to in well over a year. It gave me a chance to apologize for the manner and speed of my departure - something that felt long overdue. When you work with people as closely as I did - you get to know things over time about what they go home to each night - their relationships, their kids, their struggles - and if you have a shred of compassion, you can't simply turn off that tap - even when you are away you will think about and worry about the things that may still be troubling or whether they have found their way through. So if nothing else came of this moment, that would be enough.
Second, and on a more serious note, I had to question my motivation for writing about this incident in the first place. I hope and believe through my writing, my passion for the public health care system comes through. In communications, I was on the other side of many targeted campaigns against government over the years when policy changes were proposed. It is all too familiar ground for me and I know first-hand about the power of the drug companies and many other interest groups in the politics of health care - something which we all know is playing out with a vengeance south of the border. But all of that said, what struck me most of all was what it feels like to be dismissed - to be literally talked over by someone with whom you inspire so little regard that they are emboldened to carry on as if you do not exist. When it comes down to it - all the brash talk and the familiar tactics mean less to me than the feeling that in that moment - in that crowded airport - I was not worth any thought or consideration - that everything I was or thought I had been had vanished and in its place was some lesser ghost. It is my own morality tale to remind me of the times I have dismissed other people, made flash judgments that deny someone their dignity and their story. Something for me to ponder as I bring this little chapter to a long overdue end.