Monday, October 07, 2013

Dr Kaseba's example
By Editor
Wed 11 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

One cannot claim to uphold the principle of the sanctity of life if provision has not been made even for minimal health care for every person. This is a priority which a society cannot ignore if it wishes to be a caring and compassionate community.

It must be recognised that if this problem is to be tackled, it will demand the allocation of more resources from the state. Without doubt, the most serious problem we have today is the acute shortage of health centres to cater to the population. If we had adequate health facilities, it would not be necessary for Dr Christine Kaseba to disrupt her schedule and carry out complicated cervical cancer operations on humble patients in Mkushi.

The enjoyment of the right to adequate standard of living entails adequate and equal access to health services for all. This requires an acknowledgement of the problems that beset health services and the willingness to tackle them.

We know that absolute equality of access to health care for all citizens is very difficult to achieve. However, this is an ideal which must always be striven for.

While we greatly value the generous dedication of health professionals like Dr Kaseba to the service of our people, we cannot ignore that the quality of medical care in our country is seriously inadequate. We are grateful for Dr Kaseba's dedication, love and compassion.

And we invite all health workers to carry out their duties with the type of dedication and responsibility being shown by Dr Kaseba. Compassion is responsible. To experience genuine compassion is to develop a feeling of closeness to others, combined with a sense of responsibility for their welfare.

And true compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Compassion is commitment.
But it is not possible to work the way Dr Kaseba is working if one has no love for one's fellow human beings, fellow citizens. Love is the power behind such deeds. A good heart is both important and effective in daily life.

With a pure heart, you can carry on any work and your profession becomes a real instrument to help the human community. Most of the good or beneficial effects that come about in the world are based on an attitude of cherishing others. The opposite is also true.

By showing concern for other people's welfare, sharing other people's suffering and helping other people, ultimately one will benefit. If one thinks only of oneself and forgets about others, ultimately one will lose.

We should share the sufferings of our fellow human beings and practice compassion and tolerance, not only towards our loved ones but towards our enemies.

And those whose duty is to lead should lead by example. Before teaching others, before changing others, we ourselves must change. We must be honest and sincere, kindhearted. Our daily thoughts and actions should be directed towards the benefit of others. It is said that 'doing is the best way of saying'. And that faith without deeds is worthless (James 2:14-17).

Our way of life is the result of what we believe. We are reminded in Mathew 14:14: "He saw a large crowd and he took pity on them and healed their sick." It is your fellow human being, and especially the one who lacks life and needs justice in whom God wishes to be served and loved.
They are the ones with whom Jesus identified. And all who work along that line of God's scheme for life are considered Jesus' brothers and sisters "Mark 3:31-35). This is the best way to follow Jesus, especially in Zambia's present situation. And in this sense, all who struggle for life are included in God's scheme, even if they lack faith.

Caring for the sick is not just another job but a calling from God of a special dignity and importance. It is really an imitation of Jesus, who saw healing the sick as central to his ministry of establishing the kingdom of God.

We should never try to run away from responsibility. Dr Kaseba could have easily ducked that responsibility and promised to send some doctors from Lusaka to come and attend to those two Mkushi women. But she took it upon herself to do what was possible in the circumstances. Dr Kaseba's spirit, her utter devotion to others without any thought of self is being shown in her boundless sense of responsibility in her work and her boundless warm-heartedness towards fellow citizens. Every one of us has something to learn from her. We must all learn the spirit of absolute selflessness from her. With this spirit, everyone can be useful to the people. A person's ability may be great or small but if he or she has this spirit, he or she is already noble-minded and pure, a man or woman of moral integrity and above vulgar interests, a man or woman who is of value to the people.

If we cherish others, then both others and ourselves, both deeply and superficially, will be happy. When we cherish ourselves more than others, we produce various types of suffering, both for ourselves and for those around us. Peaceful living is about trusting those on whom we depend and caring for those who don't depend on us.

We should not forget that the wellbeing of our society depends upon the internal attitude of people who compose it. For any change, and movement of the human community, the initiative must come from individuals. When we are motivated by wisdom and compassion, the result of our actions benefit everyone, not just our individual selves or some immediate convenience.

The more we become interdependent, the more it is in our interest to ensure the wellbeing of others. The development of the human society
requires that people help each other. There is need for solidarity, for a firm and persevering determination to commit ourselves to the common good; that is to say to the good of all, and of each individual, because we are all responsible for all. Solidarity helps us to see the other as our neighbour. It also means choosing to walk in the shoes of those who hurt the most. And we do it not because we derive some pleasure from the pain and discomfort, but because we wish to see a change, a radical transformation of the world as we know it; that is, a change from the point of view of those who are considered to be at the bottom of society.



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