Obscure Fishing Trip
I’m going to jump back into this as if June 4, 2011 was not almost a full calendar year ago. Here it goes…
Yesterday, I had my annual physical. My former physician has moved since my last appointment, so yesterday was my first time seeing a new doctor. Not surprisingly, he asked about my cardiovascular activities and what I do to stay in shape during the physical. I gave him the information he asked for, and he paused. He looked at my cholesterol levels (which I now can’t even remember) and applauded not only how low my cholesterol was overall, but also the ratio of HDLs to LDLs. He then rambled on in doctor-speak for about fifteen seconds before I did something that caused an unexpected reaction.
Instead of nodding my head as if I understood, I told my doctor that I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. Rather than translating the doctor-speak into English, my doctor pulled out a chair and told me to hop off of the examination table. His exact words were, “Pull up a chair. I’ll teach you something.” These words alone, when spoken to an educator, have a profound impact. My doctor’s subsequent actions had an even greater effect on me.
A summary and shorthand version of the implication of cholesterol levels simply would not work for him. In place of this, my doctor took the time to fully explain how cholesterol works and what my levels indicated. Essentially, he taught me how to fish rather than merely giving me a fish. As cliché as it may seem, this is something everyone should strive to do on a daily basis. If you have knowledge to offer, don’t hoard it for yourself (unless, of course, it involves a lucrative business scheme such as … CONTENT CENSORED DUE TO CONFIDENTIALITY). Spread the information you have in hopes of enlightening someone’s perspective. This can look different for everyone. Whether you are offering specific knowledge about medicine, or correcting a social injustice that you happen to witness, take the time to explain rather than tell.