From the desk of the Director..........

The Best Things in Life are Immeasurable

At a conference on healthcare a couple of weeks ago, I heard a speaker ask the question, "How do you measure compassion and empathy? It is not possible.  What cannot be measured, cannot be delivered well. If we take care of the measurable outcomes, everything will be picture perfect. We must strive for digital mastery of our healthcare delivery systems”. These words caught my attention and raised the question in my mind, “Can and should everything in life be measured?” 

We live in a world that wants to measure everything. But the best things in life seem to be immeasurable. Consider this. Can we measure the unfathomable love of a mother for her newborn baby? Can we quantify the grief of a family that has just lost a loved one? Can we estimate the empathy of a philanthropist who decides to give his/her entire earnings towards a worthy cause? Can we measure the love between a husband and wife? Can we digitise the dedication with which an athlete practises for a world-wide competition? I do not think it is possible nor should we attempt to do so. By doing so, we would downgrade everything that makes life worth living.

Take the philosophy of our practice in CMC. There are several immeasurables that add value to our institutional profile.  Our staff continue to work till the day’s work is completed - not by the clock. They never measure time to determine when they need to sign off.  Working beyond the call of duty, with responsibility and conscientiousness, simply cannot be quantified. That kind of unmeasured commitment to patient care is what makes the difference.  This is unique and commendable, and best left unmeasured.

The penchant to measure and standardise everything in life is the reason why there is chaos in this world. The gifts of Nature are free and in unmeasured abundance. Water flows endlessly in a river; has anyone measured it? The oceans have bottomless capacity; no one has measured it. God's love for us is also immeasurable, which is why He sent His only son to die for us. Jesus said to his disciples, “When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing (Mathew 6:3) –  counsel to all of us not to measure many good things.

 We, as an institution, adapting to rapid changes in technology that will influence the way we think and practise, need to be conscious of this truth, summarised in this quote attributed to Albert Einstein – “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted”.

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Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Mathew 10: 8