A Muscle Worth Exercising

My son is at uni studying medical science. Since March, all of his lectures have been online due to COVID. He likes to move around the house a bit but occasionally we share a desk in my home office.

This term he is learning about processes of disease and I am constantly catching glimpses of things like gangrenous feet, black lungs and necrotising flesh.

I find the images mostly interesting and occasionally disgusting. He finds them intriguing, although I’ve spotted a crinkled nose from time to time.

It strikes me that seeing all these graphic photos (and, prior to COVID, working with cadavers in the lab) will stand him in good stead when he treats real life humans at some stage in the future. He is being desensitised to the things we non-medical types find a bit yucky.

For people learning to negotiate, especially women, desensitising is also necessary. We must get used to asking for things. We must get used to hearing no. We must start saying no and sticking up for ourselves.

It’s a different sort of desensitising to my son’s experience of looking at medical images, but negotiation is definitely a muscle worth exercising.

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