Patch Adams: The Power of the Loving Feminine

Patch Adams is a famous clown doctor. In the film below he is interviewed by a hispanic speaker about his work and rationale. He speaks of his reasons for clowning and owes his insight to his mother, he saw the love, colour and compassion of women. I thought of Gandhi here who also learned about nonviolence through his wife, but this is not emphasised in the recorded his-story of Gandhi. Patch Adams saw the coldness in the other doctors and the arrogance of superiority which was power over others rather than equality. He describes the doctors as unable to deal with weeping parents who had lost their child. Patch describes that in training the doctors never mentioned love, compassion or human exchange of something other than information and procedures, that they did it well, he said. He saw it as a wrong direction. He had no training he was just another male doctor. He could tell them about the morgue, medicine and ignore the fact the parents had lost their child. They taught him to call the nurse, which meant to call the woman, they know how to deal with humanity he says. Patch decided to not call the nurse, but decided to do that himself, he said he could be kind, he could use his hands to touch them and find the words to say. He explains the doctors didn’t know the words. Patch noticed the religion of the family, he said to them he didn’t know the religion but he knew christ. He held their hands and felt the love of his mother and the words about christ came out. The people wrote to him for many years for that was a defining moment for them and Patch.

What I know listening to Patch’s wise observations is that in the business community we see the same thing. An inability of men to relate on a human to human basis, they couch everything in business/professional language and issue directives on the basis of strategy, procedures and clinical approaches. For me, I sense that this lack of love and compassion is wide spread. That is not to say that men don’t love, of course they do, they just block that beautiful part of themselves believing it is weak, as women have often been depicted as the ‘weaker sex’. In truth it is the compassion and love that really matters, that is where the authenticity is. It is something that can be expanded through awareness. It is the feminine within that is being expanded and that love is where true healing exists not only in hospitals but how we spend out time.

Patch Adams

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Mohandas Gandhi

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”