Proverbial Wisdom & Family Health Care

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"It’s a short sentence. It speaks the truth and children are honest, and they do relate to them. There’s some core value there that’s integral in a child that the proverb speaks to."

–Deborah Holmes, Fourth grade teacher at Milton Elementary School, Milton VT

An elementary school here in Vermont teaches age old wisdom sayings. Adages like "all that glitters is not gold" and "haste makes waste" manage to transform timeless truths from ancient human experience. In this episode of Humankind, we meet Professor Wolfgang Meider, who teaches proverbs to students in Deborah Holmes’ fourth grade class at Milton Elementary School in Milton, Vermont. Mieder believes that when young people study proverbial wisdom it helps them develop intellectual virtues and a commitment to moral values. During the school year the proverbs are discussed and analyzed and each student writes in a journal what the proverbs mean to them. The students are able to relate to the proverbs because they are clear and concise, and easy to remember, and often come up at relevant times when a dose of ancient wisdom is required.


"You know you’re not just a number. You know they
really remember who you are, and there’s a very warm feeling no matter
how busy or how hectic it is in the clinic, when it comes down to you,
you feel like you count."

–Jan Cohick, a patient at Family Health Care in Kansas City, KS

Travel with us to a revolutionary health clinic in Kansas City, where
the staff is beloved by the community for a distinctively caring,
responsive approach to medicine. At Family Health Care everyone makes
eleven dollars an hour, including the doctors, making it possible to
subsidize low-cost care. This helps foster an egalitarian atmosphere
among the staff where everyone feels important. Patients are asked to
pay a portion of their bill either financially or in-kind, based on
their household income, and no one is turned away when they can’t afford
to pay. In the second part of the program we hear from the founder of
the clinic, Dr. Sharon Lee and learn why she started the clinic, and her
belief that caring for patients, and treating them like people — not
numbers — is the direction that medicine must take.


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