Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.Haile Selassie
I’m writing this article after a lot of reluctance and second thoughts. But most importantly out of anger.
Never once did I realise that silence would hurt more than actual words of hurt.
The sheer heaviness of absolute disregard to the rise in violence against the medical fraternity happening, not from the past few days, but since the time the pandemic started is just too much to take.
I won’t waste time on sharing videos or posts highlighting the actual violence committed, for these posts have circulated enough on social media platforms. Enough for some stringent action to have come into effect, which still hasn’t. Enough for some of us medicos to uninstall these apps and stay in denial about the fact that the level of safety we as individuals are supposed to be guaranteed, has fallen down by several rungs. Enough for some of my friends to contemplate their future in this country and actually consider moving abroad only for this specific reason.
I had completely stopped myself from sharing any kind of posts on any social media. I didn’t want to add to the fear. I just waited, and waited, and waited to see if there would be any verdict at all to the petitions we’ve all signed. Waited to see if any of my non-medico friends would raise this issue at all. But I don’t blame them. Maybe they do condemn this act and they don’t have to resort to publicizing on public platforms to show their solidarity with us and I respect that.
I didn’t expect us sharing certain posts online and vowing not to help people who come to us for suggestions for free would change anything. We are all trapped in this viscous cycle of violence, protests, deafening silence and violence yet again.
And unless until the system itself does something about it, nothing’s going to change. Our cries, posts, stories are all but just a scream into the void.
I also found the notion of entirely blaming the system as well, revolting at first. But that was only because of my own self esteem issues. Am I good enough in my academics and would I be skilled enough in future in the first place, to be talking ill about this vast set up?
Why didn’t I just find something else interesting instead of that friggin circulation diagram in that science book I read as a kid which intrigued me into the medical field in the first place? So. Many. Damn. Questions.
But why should external factors determine our worth?
I applaud you if you didn’t let it affect you, but to those medicos who are getting mentally drained out by these circumstances that is out of your hands, then this post is for you. Not for the non medicos who didn’t voice this out aloud, not the system which turned a blind eye, but to the anxious, emotionally exhausted medicos, from this equally emotionally exhausted medico.
We’ll figure this out.
Justice will be served.
I know things look really bad now. It might even make you consider if the benefits out of this profession as a whole is worth any at all.
But remember a ship sinks only when it lets the water from the oceans to enter it.
We cannot fight this battle going forward with a weak heart.
It’s going to be tough as it is. Internship, entrance exams, thesis writings and seemingly never ending shifts. We knew what we were signing up for.
We knew we had to be strong for our battles.
And I know what you’re thinking. But this violence is not your battle to fight. It should never have been.
But staying angry and storming out of this mess would be a decision taken in haste.
We have each other.
Don’t give up on your career. Don’t stop accumulating all the skills you’ll need to achieve what you had aimed for, just because you think people utilising your skills are ungrateful jerks. Not all of them are.
Maybe the world will not realise your worth now.
But believe. Believe that one day, all your efforts will be recognised for what it is.
Keep yourself calm. Your worth is not defined by anything happening externally.
Trust that there’s going to be a way out.
And how do I know that? Blind faith?
Trust that justice never goes unserved
And most importantly and most contradictorily, let go off the desire to see them being punished.
Cause like Shannon L Adler said:
“If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you’re allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind“
Do your duties and do not expect results.
Because the universe keeps account of everything. And even if you don’t trust my blind faith, that’s alright. Cause I do. And I have faith that as long as we’re right, and we’ve performed our duties which includes protesting against what was wrong, if not today, then atleast years down the line we’ll succeed in what we set out to do.
I’m not saying make peace with what happened. I’m not saying accept your fate for what it is and move on.
That’s completely wrong.
All I’m asking you to do is channelize your fire towards your goals. Like you always intended to.
Never stop screaming about how you’ve been wronged, but also don’t stop working hard. Don’t stop being passionate about what you love about medicine and all the sacrifices and honour that comes along with it.
We’ll get through this.