In this reality, the imperfect meets the perfect. Meeting the perfect produces pain, suffering and death. Whenever things go wrong we assume that it’s because we are not perfect. We would like to be perfect, but who can even imagine what perfection, in all its infinite diversity, would look like? Consider health.
Whose mind is capable of seeing in real time the precise molecular changes which keep the human body alive? If we strive to achieve perfection by setting ourselves unrealistic goals and failing to achieve them, we risk mental illness through what psychologist call “perfectionism”. We need to be saved.
The first thing to say about perfection is that it’s someone or something else. It’s the altruistic Jesus Christ to me. In the NHS, the current path to perfection is through standards and research results which someone else has worked for and painstakingly written down. But science does not equal compassion.
The constant change required to adopt new standards is painful for staff but good for patients. NHS front line staff training should select people who are compassionate, their workload should be reasonable and they should be nurtured and supported.
If some NHS workers are overburdened the answer is in the gospels. Jesus says; ‘Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest’, Matthew 11, 28.