March 30, 2022, Weeki Wachee, FL- The hapless individual, wearing a health agency tee shirt, began to clutch the area just below her rib cage. Her nurse friends got a chair and had her sit down, while they summoned a team to offer a higher level of care. Those in the waiting area made sure that she did not fall out of the chair, in the interim. Her pain did not abate and within twenty minutes, an ambulance arrived and took her to a larger facility.
The psychologist Leon Festinger offers the theory that much disbelief that interferes with a person acknowledging what is clearly taking place in front of him, is the result of cognitive dissonance-the distinction between normative unfolding of events (“business as usual”) and a drastic, wholly unexpected changed sequence of events, which is nonetheless real.
It took me a few seconds to look past the tee-shirt and see only another human being in acute distress. Yes, my guard was up for her safety until a proper team gathered around her and off they went to hospital. I relayed the gist of this incident to others without, of course, identifying so much as the location of the facility. My presence there was only to get a few stitches removed, from a procedure that was done two weeks ago. That matter took mere minutes. The poor lady’s husband arrived on scene and was likewise driven to her hospital by a close friend of theirs. Their ordeal may well have taken hours, perhaps much longer.
The cognitive dissonance that is vocalized by “It can’t happen here!”, is again and again being tossed in our faces, by a system that is collapsing, in one way nor another-and is being replaced by a structure that is both ground up and side by side. There is a top down element, but it is not the sort that the once dominant forces think they want. Those whose mantra is the above statement cannot but be increasingly confused by all that seems to be happening around us.
I am more certain that many of the changes we see will redound to the betterment of the human race. Those that don’t do so will likely bring changes in other ways, that will be to our betterment over time. We could discuss this all night, but it’s time for this one to rest.