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Wind, Rain, Destruction – and Metaphors

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Wind, Rain, Destruction – and Metaphors

APHA members received a note from us this week with some expectation management. That is… we’re prepared, and are hunkering down, for Hurricane Irma. Our offices, located in Central Florida, will likely lose power over the next few days as Irma makes her way through; meaning, of course, that office communication may come to a standstill until power is restored. Honestly – it’s like knowing you’re about to get a tooth pulled. There’s pain before, you know there will be pain after, and you’re just waiting for it to be over with so you can get on with life, but with that additional dread of not knowing exactly what kind of pain you’ll be dealing with in the aftermath. What??  Like getting a tooth pulled?  Yes – metaphorically – that’s exactly what waiting for a hurricane is like. Take it from me! As we’ve watched weather models and meteorologists on TV, and as we’ve seen what friends and neighbors have posted to social media, I’m struck by how effective metaphors can be to help someone understand something they have not experienced themselves. Huge, in fact! I’ve spoken and written in metaphors all my adult life. I credit my teacher training for that (8 years of my early career as an elementary grade teacher). Metaphors were a good way to teach math, history, and other subjects. Describing history in terms that were more current and understandable to them, or rewording math problems, could help them get past learning blocks. As I scroll through previous blog posts, I find metaphors in abundance: How to Avoid P*ssing Off the Doctor in One Easy Step The Most Expensive Business to Start The Birdcage: How to Ruin a First Impression … and many more. One of the metaphors I use most frequently is one you should keep in your explanation arsenal, too. That is, a description of independent, private patient advocacy: When you need legal help, you call a lawyer. When you need tax help, you call a tax accountant. When you want a great haircut, you visit your hairdresser. When you professional need help…


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