Reflections on Radical Care

The solid meaning of life is always the same eternal thing – the marriage, namely of some unhabitual idea, however special, with some fidelity, courage and endurance, with some man’s or woman’s pain

William James

I have recently moved into university accommodation. As a result I’ve had alot of encounters, with a wide variety of people. The most profound has been so with my household members and a very special human being ( who knows who she is:) ). Interactions with them have made me realise how a.alternative non-transactional systems of care are not entirely abstract fantasies in my head b.that such ‘radical’ models of care hold a potency that strikes to the core of human wants and desire- as described by James above.

Another perk is having a law student in my household. We really do have quite differing world views. I’m writing this post after an animated late night conversation surrounding my criticisms and her defence of the abstract nature of laws and judiciary. I contended that we govern relationships between people, without even fully understanding and valuing that such things are heavily ‘relational’ and ‘subjective’. Her point was that we needed a standardised system, we are selfish, everyone would want their own way. I agree- and today I learnt from her that laws reflect society not make it. However, I find it quite underwhelming that we are content with a dysfunctional middle way. Something that everyone knows is wrong, but thinks is impossible to change. And I think, that the only way we can shift such mentalities is shifting the way we relate to people- using a framework of radical care.

Radical, although it has brash connotations, literally means to go to the root. I have been and will continue to research, radical care. How can we relate to people in a way that cares for them on the most human level. If we could make people ‘care’ for one another materially and non materially – well revolutionaries would be eating their hearts out.

Pirate Care

As a medical student this holds alot of interest for me. The NHS in the UK, as it increasingly veers towards the US model, has been making a steady climb to the ‘profits over patients’ ideology. Conceived as the epitome of the welfare state, a governmental body employing professionals who want to help people- is actually not very ‘caring’. The treatment of mental disorders within the clinical setting ( and wider society) is one example of many where a reductive sense of ‘care’ is detrimentally affecting patient, doctor, and wider society.

To write prescriptions is easy, but to come to an understanding with people is hard.

Franz Kafka

Anyway, this was just a quick capture your thoughts while they are still marinating and you have the will power to actually write something post. I’ve yet to do more research but I shall indeed keep you posted.

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