Gray lady helps us be mindful: We swore we were going to stop citing the New York Times' reimagined pages, A2 and A3.
Our resistance was broken by today's Here to Help feature. The heading looks like this:
Here to HelpMost features on A2 and A3 can't be accessed on-line. The bulk of this feature can be accessed, by visiting nytimes.com/mindful.
HOW TO BE MINDFUL AT THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE
There actually is such a site! The bulk of today's Here to Help introductory essay is available there. So are the eight "steps" for staying mindful which we're eventually given.
Given the very serious situations which may take people to a doctor's office, it wouldn't be polite or decent to poke fun at such material. That said, the very next item at the nytimes.com/mindful site is headlined as follows:
"How to Be Mindful While Taking a Shower"
One suggestion, live and direct from the New York Times: "Prepare your towel and other necessary items, treating them and yourself with the utmost care."
In terms of visiting the doctor's office, some of the steps almost seem macabre. We're not saying that any of what follows is "wrong." We're saying it represents a peculiar journey for our leading newspaper:
Before you enter the doctor’s office, pause at the door and take two deep breaths, count slowly to three on both the inhalation and the exhalation.We're not saying any of that is wrong, not even the part about feeling your feet as they dangle. We are saying this:
Once seated in the waiting room, take a moment to focus on your breathing, counting to 10.
Look inward with complete acceptance, noting why you came to the doctor. Are you worried or scared? Are you in pain?
If you are, permit yourself to have these feelings. Understand that there’s nothing you are supposed to do about these feelings right now. Just let them be. That is why you are here.
In the examination room, notice the cool air, the bright lights and the feeling of your feet dangling as you sit on the table.
Acknowledge the universality of sickness and mortality. Often we feel our suffering isolates us and takes us out of the present moment.
But since suffering is inevitable, it is also an experience we share with everyone else. Allow yourself to feel that connection.
Take another deep breath and commit to sharing with the nurse or the doctor what they need to know to help you.
When readers turn to the New York Times for this sort of advice, no one should be surprised to learn that we the people have no freaking idea how national health care policy works, or to learn that Donald J. Trump is now in the Oval Office.
No one should be surprised to learn that half our nation's health care spending disappears into the ether, in a way your leading newspaper has long refused to examine or diagnose. That many people have no health care at all, for this very reason.
Meanwhile, how to be mindful while taking a shower? Let your newspaper help you! Click here.