February 17, 2012

The big picture

I've been in an interesting state lately: fighting the tide of tasks that must be done while surfing my developing insights about The Big Picture.

None of the little stuff matters unless it informs and builds toward larger aims. Each email, each tussle, every phone call plays a role in policy and persuasion and networking toward better diagnosis, treatment, and RECOVERY for real people - many who are not yet ill.

At the same time I am more and more heartbroken at the little things - petty, prideful, pyrrhic, and myopic things - that keep progress and real change from happening. I see SO MUCH opportunity and goodwill and progress being squandered.

ADDED:
thank you, Katie, for this wonderful, perfect quote:

“While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. there were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, "It makes a difference for this one." I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.” 
 Loren Eiseley

2 comments:

  1. I think I asked you once before how you managed to listen to the stories of parents and patients and deal with the professionals and organisations who are SO resistant to change without getting overwhelmed and burned out. I find it really hard to walk that line. People in general ARE myopic, prideful and so on - that doesn't mean that the balance can't slowly shift from one point of view to another, just that it takes forever and it feels even longer when people are dying in the limbo between.

    I don't know if I'm just hopelessly idealistic and naive, but I like to think that the little stuff DOES matter, because it all makes a slight difference to the bigger picture. The first quote on this page has always summed up my thoughts on the matter very well - http://bit.ly/zdySM4

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  2. With you all the way on the frustration front. Harrumphing and steaming. However, my friend, look how far we have come in a year.

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