This morning I was driving between Guelph and Hamilton to get home to my parents. The radio was kind of blaring in my ear and I was having some strong coffee, behind a garbage truck moving at a slow pace. I felt badly about how full the garbage truck was; I thought that some of the most impactful things I do are probably individual, like reducing my amount of garbage. Or smiling at someone, or driving respectfully, or keeping an open mind.
I have fallen into a period of uncertainty about moving forward in my “global health” endeavours. Predominantly because I think I have lost track of what global health means, and I’m watching a lot of people run around trying to do “global health” without much focus or impact. What are we trying to accomplish? What about our own, individual health? What about the health of our own communities and how we neglect that in persuit of improving ‘global health’? What about these disparities and conflicts in action?
I have been struggling with some of my colleagues to get an article written about physicians in global health, and the fact that so many do not consider impact. This is research we’ve been doing. Many physicians only consider action and assume the impact to be positive because their intentions are generally good (although coupled with self-serving intentions, often). This is a problem. What are we trying to do?
The question really comes down to: what am I trying to do? And again, there is a major internal collision at the intersection of yoga, medicine and global health.