Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The Emmaus Dialogues: Act II Scene 1 “Credentials” – draft 5.1
( the following is a sneak peak of an extract from the yet unpublished play "The Emmaus Dialogues")
So two pilgrims walk into a bar….
It usually begins something like that doesn’t it?
Pilgrim 1: So my mother is in the hospital and she says that her doctor is “very nice” and that the food is excellent and that she is quite pleased to be there. I ask if she is doing any better and about her prognosis. She answers, “I don’t know. I didn’t ask and no one ever said. But, the doctor is very nice.”
Pilgrim 2: I think I know what you mean. Sometimes if we look at what is important to us it might indicate to us what we really need.
Pilgrim 1: Oh, I don’t know if that is what I meant at all. I believe we can easily get focused on the wrong things. My mother should be focused on getting the medical treatment she is paying for and getting healed and not nice personalities and good food.
Pilgrim 2: Yeh, I guess that just because a doctor has his or her medical doctoral degree and passed some type of examination that the credentials aren’t really a guarantee of proper treatment. Besides, just because the hospital has all it’s beds filled doesn’t mean it is a “good hospital.”
Pilgrim 1: It seems to me that the problem is that we live in a “credentialed society” and it seems that our culture demands “seals of approval” or “Certificates of completion” as some type of indication of qualification and we don’t really go any deeper than that.
Pilgrim 2: By the way why are we going into this bar? I would prefer to go to the one down the street where the bartenders are all graduates of some hoity-toity college of mixology and spirits. You know that bar where all the formerly employed investment banker MBA’s hang out.
Pilgrim 1: But you and I both know this bar’s reputation precedes itself. I have a great looking bar tenderess who always pretends to listen well when you complain about something personal. Besides they have a great Irish troubadour for entertainment.
The two find a table with three empty chairs and sit….
The exchange continues without missing a beat
Pilgrim 2: I guess it doesn’t make any difference what bar we are in when all we are doing is drinking is Guinness from a bottle !
Pilgrim 1: You are right! What’s the big deal about credentials anyway? Life is about doing your best with what you have while remembering always that it is never about you…but how you treat others.
Pilgrim 2: What? Aren’t we missing a discussion about competence and how, when and why do we trust others?
Pilgrim 1: Fine, I know society relies on and needs credentials, ratings and rankings because we have thrown true integrity and conscience out the window. We would need less reliance on credentials and such if we all just focused on doing the right thing, for the right reason and doing it the right way?
Pilgrim 2: Now you sound like a Buddhist…
Pilgrim 1: Or…remember what the teacher told us to just love others as you would love yourself…You know, treat others, as you want to be treated.
Pilgrim 2: OMG! Are you some kind of outrageous ethicist or moralist?
Pilgrim 1: Well, I wonder what would have happened to the great teacher if everyone demanded to see a holy certificate or a “license to heal anyone ?” But, you know, what I do know is that in this world the focus on competition has gotten everything twisted…. you know competition and greed… pushes us all off course. I really think these competitive and greedy aspects drive most of us to rely on credentials of all kinds to prove ourselves worthy.
Pilgrim 2: Yeh I guess. So you wanna just split a pitcher instead?
Pilgrim 1: OK as long as you are the “dd”
Pilgrim 2: Sure, but remember I have a DUI and my drivers license is suspended. Anyway, Here’s to your mom! She was right…. as long as she likes the doctor and the hospital food is good…. and of course if they “do no harm”…who cares about the credentials!
Pilgrim 1: Salute’
Pilgrim 2: Cent’ anni!
(and now for your viewing and listening pleasure - no credentials required!)