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Palliative effect

[ 2009-09-01 16:21]     字号 [] [] []  
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Reader's question: palliative effect

My comment: Sometimes life isn’t kind so it’s easy when at home to turn on the TV to relax and just try and forget it all.

This pastime offers a temporary solution though fails to deal with the deeper issue that perhaps one should be looking for a new workplace, changing one’s career or even moving to a different place to live.

In the above example watching TV can be considered palliative, its soothing and calming but isn’t really getting to the crux of the issue.

The term is often used in medicine and in many respects could apply to certain western treatments.

For example I often have allergies which I treat with an antihistamine drug. Now this provides temporary relief or a palliative treatment though it’s almost guaranteed that the problem of a runny nose and sneezing will return in the future.

A more underlying, holistic treatment may suggest fortifying my immune system, making changes to my diet, more exercise or even moving to a different climatic location where the air is less dry or dusty.

Now recently a reader asked about the use of palliative in the following example,

It's a classic adage that we usually learn more from our failures than from our successes. Success itself has a palliative effect that makes one less introspective and over-confident of one's methods.

What the author in the above example is trying to say is that when we really want to learn and improve often failure is more beneficial as it helps us to look more closely at what we are doing.

However, if we are too often successful then we may be less inclined to look at what we are doing – so if and when – a failure arises – we are too over confident in our abilities and cannot look at the situation objectively.

Now I think I can relate to that. Often when I have a problem I blame it on everyone else until eventually divine judgment seeps in late one night and I realize it is actually all my fault and I hold the key to a more fortuitous future.

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Be on the cards

Rule of thumb

Take the high road

A feeling for a "soft touch"






About the author:

Palliative effect

About the author: Brendan has taught at universities, high schools and primary schools in Japan,the UK, Australia and China. He is a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor and has extensive experience with International English Language Examinations. In the field of writing Brendan has been published in The Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, Inflight magazines and the Asia News Network. He can be contacted at brendanjohnworrell@hotmail.com.