How to heal without doing.

When someone yells "Is there a doctor in the house!?," there is a certain implicit expectation of what is to happen next. Something has to happen and someone has to do something. We are all armchair engineers, looking to always be fixing. When the problem is outside our ability, we call in the experts. In the setting of suffering, we call the doctors.

However, there is a narrow field of health care, where the providers are not rushing in and "doing," rather they do very little. Well, little, in the most general sense. They listen. They listen in order to learn and to understand. One author has said: "To be human is to speak. To be abundantly human is to speak freely and fully." The converse of this is a profound truth, also: that the good listener is the best physician for those who are ill in thought and feeling".


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