A real long time ago I was sitting in a Navy base classroom for future hospitalcorpsmen and drawing human anatomy pictures for our instructor, Lcdr Parker, a former WW 2 surgical nurse. She employed me as she saw my doodles in class and wanted me to depict her interpretations of battlefield wounds and their repair which in those days could be put on an over head and exploded on a screen so the class of future hospitalcorpsmen got a good idea what battlefield injuries looked like. I would honor her request and use pencil and pastels to match human tissue. She liked my work and said it did not take me forever to do it. Parker never smiled. One day, after class, I was busy drawing and she approached me with a round piece of clay about the size of a baseball. She handed it to me and said, “I want you to squeeze this clay after each of the the words I tell you to say.” OK “Love,” I squeezed the clay, “Compassion” I squeezed the clay, “Honesty” I squeezed the clay, “Courage” I squeezed the clay. She then asked me to hand over the clay, “The clay is now molded with the four most important factors Navy corpsmen must have to be the best corpsman they can be, you molded it and remember the most important person in Navy medicine is the corpsmen who holds these character strengths.
I still have that piece of clay. The other day I was outside and picked up a rock about the size of a baseball and I could not mold it. I allowed my mind to consider it the for profit health care system and the agencies, and the lawyers, and the Attorney General who represented it. I knew it was Satan as the evidence was overwhelming and I could not change that rock, not a new revelation for me. However, I always presented myself as an honest person to these people, AZBN, Adm Law court, Attorney General only to find I was constantly dancing to their music of corruption. Like duress and under the gun to be approved by them so I could go back to work as nurse. The real truth was never heard, but I still can hear the music. The dance is not over.
Peary Brown retired R.N.