Insensitivity, A Fake Good Idea In Terms Of Perception
A critique of ataraxia.
ABC recently recounted the story of Ashlyn Blocker, a 12-year-old girl who can’t feel physical pain. Ashlyn suffers – so to say! – an extremely rare genetic disease that affects only 100 people in the world: Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis (CIPA). The disease disrupts the way the pain signal travels within the central nervous system.
Ashlyn never cried when she was young and everyone praised her parents for what a good baby they had. But the diagnosis of a painful eye condition allowed Ashlyn’s doctor to realize what syndrome she was carrying.
If insensitivity to pain is a condition that may seem desirable at first glance, it is actually very dangerous. It induces the risk of a disease or injury remaining untreated and escalating to a fatal outcome. A few cases have been reported of people with congenital insensitivity to pain passing away from untreated appendicitis. Indeed, patients with this syndrome must be monitored continuously.
This lack of physical pain perception evokes another lack of perception that relates to emotions. One school of thought professes that a manager should be a cold-hearted individual who doesn’t take into account any emotional considerations in order to focus on optimizing their team’s performance. This is as misleading an idea as the belief that insensitivity to physical pain is an enviable condition. The art of management is based on empathy. That is why any manager who is insensitive to emotion should be monitored as closely as the individuals who are insensible to physical pain.
As you must suffer to live, you must feel to manage.