A physician friend is featured in two videos embedded below. For those readers who know me, further foreshadowing is unnecessary. If you don’t me, I don’t feel like explaining, at least yet. At this precise moment, I’m not sure what to say, so I won’t say anything. If it’s possible to be shocked, unsurprised and saddened all at the same time, then those are my coordinates. I’ll need to work my way through cognitive dissonance, all the while trying to retain the example of Shimon Peres in the recent article at The Atlantic.
Understanding how dissonance operates reveals a few practical lessons for overcoming it, starting by examining the two dissonant cognitions and keeping them separate. We call this the “Shimon Peres solution.” Peres, Israel’s former prime minister, was angered by his friend Ronald Reagan’s disastrous official visit to a cemetery in Bitburg, Germany, where members of the Waffen SS were buried. When asked how he felt about Reagan’s decision to go there, Peres could have reduced dissonance in one of the two most common ways: thrown out the friendship or minimized the seriousness of the friend’s action. He did neither. “When a friend makes a mistake,” he said, “the friend remains a friend, and the mistake remains a mistake.” Peres’s message conveys the importance of staying with the dissonance, avoiding easy knee-jerk responses.
I’m not sure I can.
From April 29:
From July 13:
As for how this intersection of Christianity and medical science makes me feel, that’s easy. It makes me feel profoundly uncomfortable.