A good mother knows that hers is a temporary vocation, a duty of love that wanes over time. The baby in the womb needs her wholly, a matter of life and death. The infant at the breast may (barely) survive without the mother, but the physical and emotional need is still intense and constant. But as baby grows into childhood and adolescence, the child becomes less and less dependent. The wise mother's vocation is gradually fulfilled as her child gains the ability to thrive independently, without mother's constant care.
We all know of foolish and selfish mothers who don't want the child to grow up. The need to be needed is too strong, and this poor mother desires her child to be permanently dependent, much to the growing child's hurt.
One might meet intentional self-obsolescence in a variety of lesser professions. A web developer who constructs the website in such a way that the client can make his own updates without needing the developer's further assistance. The aging slugger who offers advice to the young rookie. "Teach a man to fish. . ."
I wonder how many school teachers see themselves in a similar light. Even more than equipping the students for adult life, how many teachers, especially at the primary school level, are consciously preparing their students to become home educators? That is to say, a professional school teacher who dreams of a future in which professional school teachers are no longer needed! Such self abnegation is, I suspect, quite rare.
Don't hold your breath waiting for such self abnegation from the medical industry. Yes, there are a growing number of holistic practitioners, chiropractors and the like, and a growing appreciation for natural remedies. True physicians who want to see their patients grow stronger naturally, so that they will no longer need professional assistance.
But the mainstream medical practitioner is much more likely to foster dependence upon pills, injections, and operations that can only come from the medical and pharmaceutical industry. In fact, an increasing majority of medical professionals seem to deem their own expert ministrations as more important than dependence upon God. Gone are the days when a doctor, after treating a seriously sick patient, might wipe his brow and sigh, "Well, she's in God's hands; There's nothing more I can do."
Witness: AMA support for elective abortions, embryonic stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, etc. They arrogate to themselves authority over human life. Pure undiluted arrogance and blasphemy.
I am chagrined to report a particular instance of this arrogance right here in Nicaragua. Ever increasingly, a Nicaraguan doctor will schedule a Cesarean birth for the slightest reason, or no reason at all. The poor woman feels obliged to obey the doctor's orders. Later, if she gets pregnant a second time, the doctor tells her that, since she has already had one C-section, she can no longer give birth naturally (a gross falsehood). So she schedules another C-section, per doctor's orders. Next, she is pressured to have her tubes tied during the 2nd Cesarean operation, because any further C-sections would be particularly dangerous (another lie). Thus, the doctor arrogates to himself divine authority to dictate how many children the woman may have.
Even less can politicians be expected to willingly relinquish power. In fact, perhaps the only significant check upon medical arrogance is the surpassing power mongering of politicians and bureaucrats. Their entire profession is defined by the acquisition of more and more power. As Hilary Rodham Clinton honestly confessed, "The only way to make a difference is to acquire power." And again, "We just can't trust the American people to make those types of choices.... Government has to make those choices for people." (She really said those things! More astute politicians may know better than to say so publicly.)
So it's a power game. When government and doctors (and insurance and pharmaceutical companies, etc.) cooperate in their quest for control, look out. When they clash in their rivalry, it may sometimes make for good spectator sport. A recent example is the Nicaraguan legislature which just passed a measure to criminalize the medical practice of pressuring a cesarean birth and/or performing one without the woman's permission. Hard to say how that will play out.
Meanwhile, if wisdom and goodness demand self abnegation, what ought the wise do? I hope to write more on this theme, and welcome reader comments as well.
i just read your latest blog. The power is in Almighty God's Wisdom that we are all created in His Image and Likeness and we have no power to destroy that holy life. Justice will win out - read the book of Wisdom. Love conquers all and i am gifted for i am still able to love you, my dear husband. Lenore