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Posts Tagged ‘subjectivity’

I hear people talking about the “quality of life” aspect of whatever they are doing, but I have to ask them how they define quality if I want to understand what they’re really saying.  “We want to improve the quality of life for our patients…”  By whose definition?  Remember, one person’s “quality” is another person’s “doggy-doo”.

Honestly, I think some people mean to say, “I want you to live the kind of life that I would like to live.”  Economically fortunate people think the less fortunate have very little quality in their lives.  Quite frankly, I know a few less fortunate people who think the fatcats are somewhat lacking in quality.

I read a forum post last year on ivillage.com from a lady who is bipolar.  She finally got some medication that didn’t screw with her and actually helped her feel less scatter-brained.  After a time, though, she realized something.  She wasn’t happier.  If anything, she felt worse.  Her behaviour was more mainstream, to be sure, but she really felt that she had lost her personality – a big part of her – in the wake of it all.  Her friends didn’t react to her the same way.  She didn’t enjoy the same things.  The boring, steady stream of life didn’t appeal to her after all.  To her, quality turned out to be quirkiness and the excitement of not knowing what would happen next.

Quality of life can be found in the smallest details, or in the big picture.  Quality can mean happiness, functionality, economic independence – or, in the absence of all of the above, quality of life can be seen as the right to choose to die.  The subjective awareness of “quality of life” is a funny thing.  To me, it simply verifies the fact that humans are capable of higher thought, no matter what our individual thoughts are.  It’s really just an opinion.

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