Rescue Journal

"The Game"

Alison  ·  Nov. 15, 2006

i pretty much suck at games, except scrapple and crib. i suppose i could be good at others if i really wanted to, but i don't. there is a very soft unspoken game in our medical system called "the process" lot's of time and money and jobs depend on it. if the government did a study on the actual costs involved with "the process" they might be surprized at how many people could actually get off treatment waiting lists and get the help they need when they need it if they started limiting process funding and allocating those dollars to treating actual patients instead.

my daughter is a teacher. apparently they have their own game too. i have to admit that when she was talking to me the other night, i quit listening to the actual specifics of what she was saying once i recognized the underlying game. she is too new to teaching to get all the rules yet but she's a smart girl...if she stays in teaching (which she is questioning right now), she'll learn how not to get sucked into the game.

rescue has a gaming commission too. easy to recognize if you listen to what people have to say. i listen far enough to hear "player" then i find something else to do (like write about it instead).

it took me a very long time how to learn to win the game. don't play. esp. if you suck at it, cuz i really do.

i am so very good at many, many things. i am a good and competent and knowledgable nurse. i am a good and competent and knowledgable rescuer. i do the talk and i walk the walk and my patients and the animals here are well cared for. no need to pretend anything. it is all standing right here in the light for anyone to see. and that is what i told my daughter the other day.

there are 2 kinds of power. personal power comes from inside you. it is based on self determination, self evaluation, and self actualization. it comes from within and it is not dependent on others. the other kind of power comes from the game. and you cannot play the game alone, you need others to participate with you either as team mates or the opposition or the game just isn't all that fun. my daughter will hopefully never learn to play the game. right now she is honest, has integrity and has the potential to develop the vision to be a truly great teacher to her students. as long as she doesn't get sucked into the game and risk becoming a loser. she is young and sensitive and a little unsure and fitting in and belonging is so important when you are young.

here's me hoping she has enough of her mean ole stubborn mom in her to walk alittle ways alone. because like me, one day she too will find the right people to walk along with too.

have i said today that the people at saints are the very, very best!



Totally agree....I once got sucked into the game and felt the thrill of having "power over"....and then faced the reality that playing the game also meant losing my own integrity and no longer having the right to challenge and disagree and question people on my team if they held more power than I. When my institution took a direction which I didn't fully support, I opted to give up that power, and I am glad I did because that kind of power, in that kind of game, is not only very political but is also personally disempowering.

A couple of months ago I was invited to give a guest lecture on gender empowerment for a group of nursing students, and I wanted to explain the difference between "power over" and "empowerment" (what Carol refers to above as "personal power that comes from inside you"). I used a definition that talked about having the ability to "meet one's own needs, solve one's own problems, and mobilize necessary resources to take control of one's own life" . When one has to play the game, whether one is a power-holder on the winning team, or a member of an oppressed and exploited team, one can't do those things any more.

Being empowered doesn't mean that we are self-centred and only do what WE want to do. I think it is quite the opposite - being empowered from within frees us so that we can give generously to others, and the giving is from the heart and not because someone higher up tells us to or because we feel that we have to do it to stay in the game.

We empower our daughters when we recognize, promote and enhance their ability to meet their own needs and solve their own problems, and teach them how to mobilize resources to take control of their own lives. And our daughters also learn those lessons from watching their empowered moms. So I'm betting your daughter does have enough of her "mean ole stubborn mom" in her to form the core of her own empowerment.


Yes, I totally agree with you about the "process" in Health Care. So many wasted dollars and time that is wasted in the "game" as you put it, while people's lives are lost. If your daughter is the least bit like you she will get through her struggles and come out shining!