Truth & Brain Surgery
Truth and brain surgery are very similar.
I am fond of opening statements that make you think…and hopefully this one does. I have noticed something during my life that has always intrigued me. When I have encountered a person who proclaims, “I just tell it like it is.” or “I don’t varnish the truth.” or “I’m just saying what I think.”; they are usually using the pretense of telling the truth for the purpose of being rude. They are the believers in honesty, until the light begins to shine in their direction. Then there are always excuses, reasons, and issues. In most cases the offended party claims, “You don’t understand.”
I believe telling the truth and performing the act of brain surgery have much in common…hang with me.
Brain surgery has been performed since the Neolithic (late Stone Age) period. It is strongly believed that brain surgery may represent the earliest type of surgery. Remains of surgeries have been discovered at ancient archaeology digs in France…and the amazing thing is many patients survived the ordeal. Evidence of brain operations have also been found throughout South America and Africa.
It appears as though these surgeries were for a slew of different ailments; headaches, demon possession, epilepsy, and mental illness. They may also have been used in certain spiritual practices, because in some cultures only the priests and nobility seem to have evidence of the operation.
Hippocrates wrote many dissertations on brain surgery and assorted head injuries. All this from the Aegean Island of Cos in the years spanning 470-360 B.C. Many of his ideas where still in use two thousand years after his death.
During these early years it is surmised the patient (victim?) may have consumed copious amounts of the local alcoholic beverage of the day. Then while held down by some of the more muscular members of the community, one person held a rather phallic looking (see photo above) instrument to the temple, and another rammed it into the head with a blunt striking implement, think maul.
While I am sure the ingestion of huge quantities of alcohol was helpful, I am not completely confident it would have been enough to remove all traces of pain so severe that it made death seem tranquil. But then again, who has not awakened after an all night (maybe couple of nights) bender to recoil in horror from the amounts of blood covering your body, but I digress.
Again, let me remind you dear reader, these folks had an amazing rate of survival.
Of course, now a days we have a much more refined method, with an exponentially higher success rate. The benefits of anesthesiology, computer guided, laser surgery, and surgeons trained by the best minds in the world all go a long way in making this delicate operation far easier to endure and recover from.
I believe truth is like brain surgery. There are still those today who gladly grab the sharpened stick and blunt club and go wailing away at the side of the head or whatever they can hit. Their concern for the patient extends only as far as making sure they get in a good lick or two. They have proclaimed the truth and nobody can blame them. They are simply “telling it like it is.” If you can’t take it, then there is something wrong with you.
As you know by now, I am all about telling the truth, but let’s give the patient every type of available assistance possible to hear it, recover, and live a fruitful life.