you're reading...
HIT, ServiceDesign

A Live Google Session

I woke up Sunday morning, Mother’s Day, feeling off…very off. My throat was razor-blade sore and feeling achy. It also happened to be the day of my soon-to-be Godson’s Christening. Somehow I made it through the ceremony, but at the party afterwards it started to get worse. Now I have to tell you, at the party there were five moms from age 41 to 73; a Polish mom, a Belarusian mom, a French mom, a Polish-Russian mom, and an Anglo  mom. No joke.

“Chris you don’t look so good.” said the Anglo mom.

“I know.  Its my throat, and I feel awful.” I immediately felt five sets of eyes on me. My words had activated the mom-emergency-response-system. Looking at each mom, you could see the calculations being conducted, centuries of passed wisdom being accessed, and just a little bit of posturing.

“You maast shqueeze frrresh lemon wit equal shut-gar, and drrrik everrry hour,” said the Polish mom.

The Belarusian mom cut in, “No no no. You must cut lemons, dip in honey, and eat them.” This actually had to be translated by the Polish-Russian mom as she only spoke Russian.  Watching her explain this remedy was a bit disconcerting as she kept pointing at me and chopping.

“Gargle every 15 minutes with Listerine.  It’ll kill everything.  I swear by it!” said the French mom.

“Tea with lemon and honey.” said the Anglo mom.

On the plus side I received five remedies in two minutes flat. The downside was that I had five set of eyes all waiting for me to choose my “medicine”, potentially declaring one mom the winner. I slowly backed out of the kitchen, and crawled into the guest bed for a snooze.  I would not be taking sides at the moment.

As I was falling asleep I starting thinking that what I had just experienced was Google in action the last several thousands years. A small group of moms sharing, comparing and competing with remedies to keep their families and friends safe. And to be honest, this old fashioned “Google” was so much warmer than the online version.

And it reminds me that healing is a “touch experience”.  As we shoot for high tech solutions to keep us healthy through our tablets and smartphones, as drugs are mailed to our homes, and we conduct office visits by email, that part of the healing is another person putting a hand on your forehead, offering a gentle smile, and telling you its gonna be ok.

Which did I finally choose? The tea with lemon and honey of course.  For that was my mom who offered it up.


5 thoughts on “A Live Google Session

  1. I love it, Chris! My Indian mom would say: “Hot tea with crushed ginger, lemon, honey, and enough black pepper to completely discolor a lemony-brown drink!” ……And I swear by it!!


    Posted by Yasmin Staton | May 19, 2012, 5:19 am
  2. Hilarious!!!! I love it!!!


    Posted by Julia Raymond | May 21, 2012, 7:43 pm
  3. This is really wonderful. I’m developing a workshop for baby boomers on “reimagining our aging” and one of the key ways elders have been valued and find value in their/our older years of life is by sharing wisdom and stories with the younger generations. So you’re not only speaking of the importance of hands-on care, you’re telling the story of how we help all generations feel connected to each other and to our accumulated knowledge and understanding. It’s so cool! I’m glad to be in touch!


    Posted by Maureen Sheahan | May 21, 2012, 10:30 pm
  4. Great! This story gets your attention and keeps it right to the end! Many “message” stories don’t keep your interest the whole way!


    Posted by Sandra Zarza | May 24, 2012, 4:00 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: