I find it awkward to post on Sampaloc Manila when I am currently writing in Davao. These past days have been quite emotionally grueling. I never thought that Clinical Pastoral Education in a hospital could be anything harder than writing some verbatim which is just about three to four pages without footnotes. Verbatim is a recall of what transpired in our conversation with a patient. It’s like writing script. I don’t know how faithful we could get with the conversation but we try with all our might to write all we could remember.
What I can say is this program is a learn-as-you-go, very challenging. A nurse in our group confessed that the program is more difficult than she thought, but very fulfilling.
The program teaches us that there’s a radical difference between “What do you think?” to “How do you feel?” approach to life. My background is philosophy. Slowly I get to see objectification as interpreting the present in terms of the past or the future. We never really see the present or live in the present exactly. Often I get to be reprimanded for being too speculative. I always lay out possibilities whenever I think and talk with the patient. Our supervisor would always remind us, stay with the patient. The most difficult process is to reach this point “More of the patient, less of ourselves.” Nay, more of the other person, less of “me.”
In this, I suspect, that our contemporary culture is run by capitalists earning money by feeding our ego. This is not just about social networking sites. Notice, as Calvin did, that advertisements do not actually sell products more than “attitudes.” They try to change the way we look at life, then they sell you their brand. ME generation isn’t just a product of man’s primordial impulse to be the center of attention. It is an applied science of “branding.”