By Justin Foxton
“Primum non nocere” is a Latin phrase that means “first, do no harm.” Apparently, all medical students are taught this fundamental principle and it basically means that when faced with a problem, it may be better to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good.
It may strike you that this is rather negative. If the whole world – when faced with an issue – did nothing for fear of causing more harm, then presumably nothing would ever get resolved. But, that is not the power of this maxim. Its potency lies in the somewhat un-Western notion of stillness, silence, non-doing when action or words would simply fan the flames of trouble and strife.
An example: Marikana. If “primum non nocere” had been the guiding motto of the police during those horrific days in August 2012, that atrocity would likely never have happened.
The aim of this monthly feature is to give all of us small, achievable actions that we can each do daily to contribute to the healing of our nation. But perhaps we should have begun with something even more basic; on the surface, simpler – yet fundamentally more challenging. Primum non nocere – first, do no harm.
What might this even look like for us living in South Africa? On a personal level,.............Read the Full Article