Saturday, 27 September 2014

Religion; Just ideas

Religious practices are all ideas thought of and introduced to suit the environment it emanates from..... In Christianity,John the Baptist introduced water baptism because he lived in Samaria, Galilee and Judea. He and the people had access to the River Jordan. There is not a single river in the whole of Saudi Arabia, therefore it's practically impossible to introduce water immersion as a form of baptism in Islam. Almost all African traditional religions use the river for cleansing, sacrifices, requests and even worship because there are rivers all over Africa..... Serpent Worship for instance is present in a lot of countries because snakes exists there. You won't expect snake worshipers to exist in countries and regions where there are no snakes like New Zealand, Hawaii and even Ireland. Religious practices in modern days has evolved to a point where we accept Syncretism. Folks now merge theology and tend to accept social constructionism. Believers considers their immediate environment and adjust to practices that suits them.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Give it up for Ego

I was told  I need to pursue life vigorously while I still have time. That I need to  step out of my comfort zone and drive myself... I should work hard and make sacrifices to achieve my life goals.
What if I don't have any "life goals?" What if I lack ambition and drive?
Isn't this purely ego?......At the end of your life, if you've failed to achieve your goals, what does it matter to anyone? Of Course, it matters not to anyone but yourself.
And once you've breathed your last breath, it won't even matter to you anymore.
The point I'm trying to make is that this whole bucket list thing is really about your ego and about making yourself feel good (or at least as good as possible) while you are living your life.
In other words, it's all about being in the moment and how you feel about yourself, and your life, in the moment. It's not about making the world a better place -- this would be incidental and a self-justification in the service of your belief system which, of course, would ultimately make you feel better about your life.
No matter how you slice and dice it, it all comes down to how you *feel* about yourself. In the present moment. While you are still living.
Naturally, if other people recognize your achievements, this would make you feel better. This, then, is an ancillary motivation: having others around you *validate* your life by heaping praise upon you.
But in the final analysis, you have to be true to yourself, to who you are at the core. If you can feel good about your life without having accomplished anything, why should anyone else's opinion about your life matter?
I don't have a bucket list. I'm taking life at a very leisurely pace. And why not? The only one who needs to feel good about himself is ME & I.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Towards affordable healthcare

Hippocratic oath- I pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity....... I got to know  this when I was in primary school. My father (being a medical doctor) was always stressing it to my ears even though it meant nothing to me then... I had thought he wanted to improve my vocabulary by adding the word 'Consecrate' to it repeatedly. He always deepen his voice and stress the word when he gets there( obviously to let me know he was not saying 'concentrate')....... I got to know the other side of 'service to humanity' few years later; Patients are being denied treatment because they can't afford the medical charges, or most times can't  deposit funds upfront.... Hmmm, so much for consecrating ones life to the service of humanity.  This bothered me a lot then. I feel bad whenever my classmates shares their perspectives on doctors (it was almost always negative).. They see doctors as exploiting patients to enrich their pockets.
Why is healthcare expensive?.. Why do doctors charge that much?... Why do they need to be paid before service?... What made them abandon the Hippocratic oat they took?... How do we reverse all these?... Who is to blame?
I've been thinking of answers to the above questions for some time now. And only one thing comes to mind; the society wants healthcare to be expensive, the society wants doctors to charge a lot, the society is to blame. How?... Firstly, to get admitted to study medicine in the University, the requirement is high(almost always the highest cut-off marks every year). What that means is that if you want to study medicine, you must first scale the hurdle of a high cut-off mark.
Also, It's about the course with the most number of years of study as an undergraduate(6 years).... 3 years in the pre-clinical classes and another 3 years in the clinical classes. After which you go for a compulsory one year houseman-ship(internship). With all these number of years, the tuition fees of medical students in Nigeria universities is always the most expensive . Medical textbooks are also on the high side.
Brings me to a certain question. Why do people become doctors? Despite the high O'level requirements, number of undergraduate years, and high cost of study(tuition & books), Why do people still go ahead with the study? I don't have a definite answer to this question, but most people I know become doctors today because it's a means to livelihood. Because it's a means to better life and not because they are missionaries or charity workers.
Healthcare is expensive today because the doctor is reaping what he has sown. There were courses of study with lower cut-off marks, but he chose to study hard for the one with the highest. He studied as an undergrad medico for six long years, paying the highest tuition fees and buying the most expensive books. He did not do it because God called him to. He did it because its his career. He will not settle for little pay... no wont... All the money the University took from him, he will get everything back and more.
Can his education be subsidized?... Yes.. The cut-off marks can still be high(or not), The years of undergraduate studies can still be 6(or even increased).. But the tuition should be heavily subsidized... Those expensive medical books (mostly by Indian authors) should also be subsidized. Only then can we produce doctors who will be truly useful to the society. At the moment, we are producing monsters. doctors who will go on strike for non-payment(or under-payment) of salary at the risk of inpatients' lives,  doctors who will not attend to medical emergencies until a substantial deposit is paid. medicine should be studied only by people who have a strong passion for helping humanity. Human lives can not be entrusted to the hands of money conscious people. We should tranquilize the beast in them.. make things easier for them, so that we can find things easy too.
We have not been looking in that direction; I'm appealing to us to do that. We should find a way to subsidize the cost of studying medicine in our universities. Then we can be certain of better healthcare. Then the doctor will attend to us because he wants to serve humanity and not to get all the money his/her parents spent on him/her back. With such high cost of study; Passions can die.
Happy Independence day.

Saturday, 3 August 2013