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  • Writer's pictureDiana Fletcher

"Everyone Lies in the ER"

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

“Everyone lies in the ER.”

That statement stayed in my head long after the fear, panic and state of emergency had lessened.

Are You Lying?

It seems as if we all end up in an emergency room at some point in our lives, either as the person in agony, or the advocate for said person. We recently had two very serious emergencies which led to frantic rushing to emergency rooms. The first to a city hospital. The second to hospital closer to home. As afternoon passed into evening on the day of the second emergency room visit, everything was getting under control and we could breathe a sigh of relief. Questions continued, and when we refuted the assumption that my person had used medication incorrectly, the emergency room nurse shrugged and said in a conversational tone, “Everyone lies in the ER.”

We happened to be two people who didn’t lie in the emergency room. Clearly, the statement grouping everyone was wrong. However. Think about the myriad of people who come into an emergency room. I thought about the city hospital where they had seemed very suspicious of my person’s pain complaints. These doctors, nurses and aides work in a charged atmosphere where they have to quickly assess who needs pain medications, who doesn’t and what kind of help they need. They have probably observed that most people lie and they base their actions on that. Though they may insult some people, it could be helpful for people who have addictions or mental problems.

As intrigued as I am about the subject of lying and the reason we do so, I think another interesting aspect to consider is the “everyone” part of the statement. Just because there may be a need to quickly put someone in a category in an emergency room, do we need to do this in our lives every day?

How many times do we do this ourselves? Issue a blanket statement that all of this is that or all of that is this?

I know I do. I am guilty of doing this quite frequently. In fact, I am looking at one of my own statements from last autumn in my post, And Then I Wanted to Cry.

"I will never, ever hire this guy for fucking anything and his racist, fucking, disrespectful ass will never be in my house again." (Wow, that is some blanket statement!)

Many of us make statements like that all of the time. (See? I just did it.)

What if we looked closely at our assumptions and put a bit more thought

into our extreme, sometimes pompous and many times passionate declarations?

Our first ideas and values about the world are demonstrated and taught to us by our parents/family/social and religious groups. It is completely understandable if we mimic these into young adulthood. Nevertheless, as adults, we need to make some decisions for ourselves. We are allowed to change our minds, our thoughts, and our actions.

I know I need to take a look at many of my blanket statements. I’m experimenting with a variety of ways to state my feelings and beliefs as well-thought-out statements instead of pronouncements that stop further discussion. My words need to reflect my truth, my values and my love for myself and the rest of the world.

You may want to think about your own blanket statements and beliefs, especially the strong ones. If this idea strikes a chord with you, I suggest that you ask yourself a few questions.

  1. Is it true? How do you know? Have you done research from various points of view? In other words, do you really know what you are talking about?

  2. Do you actually mean many people and circumstances, rather than all?

  3. Is this your personal value or someone else’s?

  4. Are these thoughts and beliefs productive, in that they help rather than hurt?

  5. Does this belief or feeling make you feel good? Does this show true love for yourself?

  6. Is it respectful?

  7. Is it kind?

  8. Does it help or hurt your communication with other people?

  9. Would you like it if someone made those judgments about you?

  10. Is it helping our world to heal?

Number Ten may be the most important one on the list right now.

We are all connected. If we are ever going to change our society and heal from the past, we need to get started by changing our thinking. We could do worse than starting with our blanket statements.

So, my "neighbor" statement. (A tough one for this antiracist feminist.)

Here I go: Is there a chance of discussion? Could our history as neighbors help us through this? Am I being kind and respectful? Perhaps this man is sorry for his actions. Maybe it's time to talk. I am just feeling my way here, but I feel calmer and more at peace even thinking a little differently. I'm going to keep trying.

Are you interested in a more peaceful world? I am.

What if we start to look at our own behavior with honesty and love instead of thinking about and commenting on everyone else’s behavior? If we are being honest, we can all do some work on ourselves.

And a little bit of work from everyone, could change the world.

Update: 2-26-21 Example above may not have been my best as a "Blanket statement." I think the guy is indeed an ass, so I'll work on other ones. 😂

P.S. My person is ok!! ☺️

P.P.S Later, when I had a few moments to reflect upon lighter affairs, I remembered the very funny Brian Regan bit about the emergency room. When asked to describe his pain on a scale of 1 to 10, he finally settled on eight. That brought morphine and pain relief, and later as he left the room, he yelled to one and all, “Say eight! Say eight! Happy eight day!”

I would love to hear your comments and thoughts. Please scroll all the way down to share.

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