Being seated at a table with some members of the Class of ’51 – an auspicious year, incidentally, in which certain future chiropractic magazine editors would be born – induced a little trip back in time. As Dr. Don Viggiani, president of the 50th anniversary class that was honoured at CMCC’s Homecoming, brought greetings from the Class of ’56, I was momentarily transported to Miss Collins’ kindergarten, into a frenzied, outdoor, end-of-the-school-year game of musical chairs.
Is it true that everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten? A frightening premise, since running around in circles like a crazy person until the music stops is just about my only recollection of it.
Unbridled optimism and hope did seem to characterize the mid-1950s. Valedictorians from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, and every other educational institution, were sending their classmates off to serve humanity and help make a better world. In that era, as some of you will recall, children were constantly reminded to be on their best behaviour, mind their manners, share with others, and clean up their mess. What has happened since?
Lynne Truss, the author of Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door, writes: “This is an age of social autism in which people just can’t see the value of imagining their impact on others.”
In feature articles appearing in Time Magazine earlier this year – “Help! I’ve Lost My Focus,” and “The Multitasking Generation” – Claudia Wallis reports that, except for highly practised skills and many aspects of perception, multitasking is not even neurophysiologically possible. Some neuroscientists are saying that, rather than simultaneously processing, we rapidly shift between sequential, prioritized tasks, one at a time.
Are we, in fact, multiprocessing ourselves to distraction while becoming socially disengaged?
Interruptions at work, according to New York City research firm Basex, represent a staggering $588 billion US annual blow to the American economy. Once interrupted – by a co-worker, the ring of a telephone, or the ping of an incoming e-mail message – it takes an estimated 25 minutes to return to the original task.
Since I started writing this editorial, as an example, four colleagues have consecutively stuck their heads in to chat; another went to the trouble of affixing a sign (“Do not tap on the glass. Do not feed the editor”), and someone came by to snap my photograph.
This is a snapshot of the hyperstimulated environment in which chiropractors graduating with the Class of 2006 live, and from which their patients will emerge.
Chiropractic’s big contribution to our multitasking society is the provision of focused, highly skilled, highly effective, evidence-based, and respectful hands-on health care, delivered in the present moment with the spirit of compassion. People are not commodities, and they need this. That is one huge niche market.•
Editor’s Note: June/July 2006
Being seated at a table with some members of the Class of ’51 – an auspicious year, incidentally, in which certain future chiropractic magazine editors would be born – induced a little trip back in time.
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