Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Cura Te Ipsum

Cura te ipsum - physician, heal thyself.

This is a familiar proverb used to chastise someone who gives advice or support that they do not apply to themselves.  The idea of a doctor who heals others, but does not take care of themselves.

Jesus is even quoted using the proverb in Luke 4:23.  "Then he said, 'You will undoubtedly quote me this proverb: "Physician, heal yourself" - meaning, "Do miracles here in your home town like those you did in Capernaum."'"  Jesus continues on to discuss how no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.  In this context, Jesus is counseling to attend to ones own defects before criticizing those in others, similar to removing the plank from your own eye before discussing a speck in someone else's.

In other contexts, this proverb can be used to address taking care of problems that you yourself have created.  A bit of Munchausen at Work.  Munchausen Syndrome speaks of a person who makes up illnesses and diseases in order to get sympathy.  Munchausen at Work manifests as someone creating problems in order to solve them.  To be seen as a hero who swoops in and saves the day.  It could be by withholding help or key information until the last moment and then stepping in.  Or creating rumors and then dispelling them.  Creating a problem to draw attention to oneself when you solve it.

I raise this issue because I'm getting tired of seeing a new meme going around that posits this question:

China has removed its 25% tariff on oil

Why isn't the mainstream media talking about this?  Because it's a big win for Pres Trump?

Here's the problem with this argument:  President Trump does not get credit for China removing something they only threatened to do in the first place.  China never enacted a 25% tariff on oil, only threatened to do so.  Further, he does not get credit for them removing something they only threatened as a response to the tariffs he enacted.

You don't get praise for solution to a problem you created in the first place.

Trump seems to have a history of doing this.

He's bailing out farmers that have been hurt by his trade war.

He signed an executive order to end immigrant family separations that were caused by the zero tolerance policy he enacted.

It's not a sustainable way to continually govern.  At some point, we have to worry about the problem that is created being larger than any possible solution.  We're seeing this with the family separation as there are so many intended and unintended consequences that are playing out leading to the deaths of children in the tender care facilities, abuse of the children in those facilities, and families that will never be reunited.  Who knows if the bailout for farmers will be sufficient.

At some point, we need someone to step in and prevent the problems from ever being created in the first place.

Physician, heal thyself.

Politician, govern thyself.


No comments:

Post a Comment