What is Humanity?

While doing some reading last week, I came across this quote by Michael Gungor. It really struck a cord with me, and it made me think about how this would look/what it would mean if we examined it through the lens of practicing medicine. Is it possible that what has lead to the overwhelming numbers of burnout in medicine is a steady departure from our humanity? Perhaps. But, in order to really know there are several questions we need to ask ourselves. What does “humanity” mean for us as doctors? How do we express our humanity in our practice of medicine? And, what happens to our practice of medicine if we lose our ability to express or share our humanity?

I think that the answers to these questions are likely different for each of us. What makes us who we are, our true essence, is as unique to each of us as are our fingerprints. Thus, I believe that what “humanity” means and how we express it, is just as unique. However, there is something very visceral about the word “humanity”. It seems to stir vivid images and emotions for most people. If I truly let that word wash over me, I feel warmth, tenderness, connection in my body, and so much more. It has deep meaning for me- something beyond what I can put into words.

I invite you to lean into the word “humanity” and what it means to you. Say the word “humanity” to yourself and watch to see what emotions and images it conjures up for you. Explore these emotions and images as if you were a fascinated anthropologist. Don’t make any judgments- just observe. Where has there been an erosion of your humanity? How has this changed the way that you are as a physician? And, most importantly, how can you recapture, fuel, or reconnect with those parts of your humanity? 

As I’ve previously mentioned, no need to think “hard” on any of this- simply contemplate and consider. Take 5 minutes to do some PQ reps prior to doing this so that you can better engage your wisdom and allow the navigate power of your Sage to guide you. For some, the answers may come quickly-for others, it may take longer. However, if you give yourself the time and opportunity, the answers will come. When that happens, see how those answers fit with the goals that you have for yourself for this year. Are the goals you have set going to be supportive of your unique humanity, or put you at risk for further stripping? Once you have this answer you are at choice. You are not blind-sided. You can then use your Sage power of Activate, the power to take clear-headed and focused action, to do whatever will truly serve and keep you whole.

For those interested in learning more about Positive Intelligence, PQ reps, The Sage, and all the science behind this, you can visit www.positiveintelligence.com and/or read Positive Intelligence, by Shirzad Chamine.

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