The Knowers

The TV picture flickered on and off, as you might expect in a lightening storm, but the day was clear and bright, without a cloud in the sky. My wife recently returning from the surgical removal of a bunion was watching her favorite TV show, in the living room, as she iced her foot to keep it from swelling. A daily activity she would be engaged in for at least that week. A situation which made getting to the bottom of the TV issue, a predicament that needed a resolution, even more quickly then usual. In my first call to Optimum, my TV carrier, I was told to reboot the cable box a procedure I had already done without any settlement of the flashing problem . Disregarding that information, the agent redid the re reboot on his own using, centrally based equipment and eureka it seemed to work, for about ten minutes anyway. On my second call, the agent believed the problem was in the cable box itself. As such, she centrally performed what she called, fixes to to the box and told me that if the problem continued, the cable box would have to replaced. Again, it seemed to work, but this time without the enthusiasm that would warrant a eureka, I went back to my daily book writing, that this TV problem was irritatingly interrupting. As I sat there trying to work and feeling uneasy at my prospects my wife’s called out my name in a tone of voice that I recognized as, there’s a problem and I knew the TV had broken down again. On my third call I suggested that the agent read the notes from her fellow agents regarding the two previous attempts. Disregarding that suggestion, she asked me to find and pull out and put back the HDMI cable from the box and from the TV, which after some fumbling around I, managed to accomplish. To my amazement, it worked. She explained that from the symptoms I described it had to be the extremely sensitive HDMI cable, which I would do well to replace. She went on to guarantee that the problem was now fixed. It is almost a week later and the TV is still steady and clear.
This event got me thinking about the people who just know. People who sufficiently understand the technical aspects of a subject to be able to utilize their common sense to arrive at simple and effective solutions.
For example, the two podiatrists who did the surgery on my wife’s foot are pioneers who have perfected a bunion surgery that is less invasive and less painful then traditional bunion surgery. Recuperation is fast with few if any complications and the patient can walk immediately after the procedure. Given all of these positives you might think that this simpler more effective procedure has been adopted by other podiatrists and that it is being taught in the universities that trains these foot doctors to ease people’s foot pain. You’d be wrong. Its the brainchild of these two innovators, who like the creative TV agent, understood the problem and found a better way to fix it. Closer to home, I have been fortunate to have trained with a brilliant, avant-guard psychologist who developed a unique and effective treatment program for people with serious mental illness. The intentionally created community model, developed by the Fountain House organization has been extensively replicated in the United States and around the world yet no course on the Fountain House model exists in any university or college department charged with training prospective mental health professionals.
People who know a better way, either came upon it as they did the work or were taught by some out of the box originator. These better ways are usually simple, easier to do, commonsensical more effective and humanistically compassionate. They are created by “out of the box ” thinkers and are not taught in established training programs because the old line teachers in those programs have not been trained in these new procedures. And if they know about it, it makes them uncomfortable and annoyed and as a result, they label these different procedures as, unproven, ineffective, or adjunctive to the professional way of doing it. These new ways stay alive, grow and prosper because the recipients of the service support the practitioners by sharing the good news of there efficacy with others.

“Progress”
After two failed attempts at reconciliation
The capricious screen flashed off
With loud vibrational hiccups
Its third breakdown proclaimed

A prodigy with mercy entered the scene
Efficient, authoritative and commanding
And with the pull of a cord the screen flashed on
And a picture showed clear and bright
Who are these phenomenal mortals
Who unafraid find a new way for it to work
Are they aberrant or extraordinary?
Are they bizarre or remarkable ?
Are they discordant or just rare ?

Trial and error with inbox tools
And they construct a better way
But jittery skeptics swell and swarm
And with ignorant claims attack

But the benefited share
And the benefited support
And the benefited proclaim

And someday the new way will become old
And this process will start over again