December 11, 2018
by Fay Goldstep, DDS, FIADFE, FASDA
What an amazing world we live in – constant information at our fingertips…news…views…and more…till we plead for a break.
We are constantly plugged into some device spewing data and opinion at us, so that we start to confuse opinion for fact and our own opinions become suspect. What are they really based on?
The 24/7 world of media has shackled our minds. The constant access to information and opinion should be opening our minds, but instead, the constant barrage is actually sealing us off from differing perspectives.
We talk about inclusiveness and diversity, but never have we been so dismissive of others and unready to understand diverse views. Freedom of speech (and even of thought) is no longer a given. Universities have become echo chambers for the only “right way” of thinking. News and talk shows encourage tribalism. Everyone watches what makes them comfortable and does not ever seek out another perspective. It is us against them. There is no room for discussion. If you are not with me, you are against me.
WHAT HAPPENED? Information overload? Too much information causing us to put up filters and then just passively ingesting our safe and comfortable sources of evidence. Never questioning…just ingesting…
We need to finally unplug and get some peace for our weary minds. Let our thoughts and imaginations run free. Day dream a little…
So much is possible with a little imagination and an open mind! First, you open the view. Try out several perspectives. Discover the one that fits the situation and the information. Focus to sharpen the details. Only then will you have the answer, opinion, judgement, theory and appropriate action.
Science does this constantly. Something is an established theory until it is disproved. New information may force the perspective to change. Scientists continue to take in all relevant new information, data, and evidence. Then they refocus and reform their opinion, theory or product. There must be a perpetual open approach to new data. Opinions may require adjustment.
Professionally, as health care providers, we use established products and protocols for our patients. These have been refined by scientists and clinicians who practice the above strategies. We must also be constantly vigilant, to ensure that we are continuing to serve our patients’ needs with all that is available – not jumping into the new without careful consideration but also not staying at the sidelines for too long.
Changing views, perspectives and attitude can turn the “old unachievable” into the “new possible”. Finding appropriate perspectives and focus and a bit of patience will ultimately bring success. This issue of Oral Health will try to open your mind to some of these possibilities.
Happy Reading! Happy Holidays! OH
About the Editor
Dr. Fay Goldstep has lectured nationally and internationally on Proactive/Minimal Intervention Dentistry, Soft-Tissue Lasers, Electronic Caries Detection, Healing Dentistry and Innovations in Hygiene. She has been a contributing author to four textbooks and has published more than 100 articles. She sits on the editorial board of Oral Health. Dentistry Today has listed her as one of the leaders in continuing education since 2002. Dr. Goldstep is a consultant to a number of dental companies, and maintains a private practice in Richmond Hill, Ontario. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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