How to Kill a Giant – an allegory

Part 2 of 4 – Open Your Mind.

One day you take a lovely walk down your life’s path.  The sun warms your shoulders, a soft breeze brushes against your face to gently challenge your progress, but overall your journey is very pleasant, and life is good.

In the midst of your lovely journey you don’t even notice yourself wandering off in a direction your parents always cautioned you to avoid.  “Stay out of that prickly Healthcare Field,” you barely remember them warning.  “There are giants in there, they eat people, and once you enter you’ll be lost forever!”

Until now you’ve always had great health and never felt the need to heed your parent’s healthcare advice.  But then you discover you’ve unexpectedly wandered too far and find yourself in the middle of that morass of a Healthcare Field they warned you about, and you’ve acquired some prickly health problems that are making your life very uncomfortable.  And to your terror, you suddenly hear a loud, horrific roar and look up to see the dreaded Healthcare Giant looming over you, the one your parents struggled with and who gave them nightmares!  He is clearly most unsympathetic to your plight, and he realizes your vulnerability.  The hunger in his eyes, his bulging muscles, and his hulking mass overwhelm you.  But just when you’re ready to give up, you realize the presence of a very calm and serene person who has come to stand beside you.  His lack of fear and intimidation by the giant many times his size puzzles you.  And you are even more confused when he smiles reassuringly and instructs you, “Just open your mind.”

What happens next is completely unexpected.  The person calmly approaches the giant to confront him head-on.  Then abruptly he viciously stomps on the giant’s little toe!  The giant howls in pain and begins hopping on one foot.  The person then stomps on the giant’s other little toe, and the giant howls even louder.  The person then stomps on another toe and another toe and another.  Soon the giant can no longer keep his balance and crashes to the ground howling and howling.  Then the person pokes the giant in the eye!  The giant screams.  The person pokes the giant in the other eye, completely blinding him.  The defenseless giant, who now can’t see and can’t walk, screams and howls even louder.  Suddenly there is silence, for the person has grasped the giant by the throat, squeezing hard and shutting off his breathing.  Within a few seconds the giant is dead.

The person now calmly approaches you and says:  “Always remember…just open your mind, and your giants can be conquered, one toe at a time.”

We can learn from this allegory.  To see how it applies to improving our healthcare system, please read on to Part 3.

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