Sometimes You Are The Problem

In the 18th century, ‘there was a thing’ that spread across Europe; eventually, it made its way to America. It’s been called Puerperal Fever, also known as the Black Death of Childbed. As a result, the pregnant women delivering a baby get expired within 48 hours post-delivery.

This Black Death of Childbirth was the ravages of Europe, and it got worse and worst over the century. In some hospitals, the mortality rate was as high as 70% for women. 

These doctors or the ‘men of science’ wanted to study and discover the reasons behind the Black Death of Childbed, and they got to work, dissecting the corpses of the women who had died. 

In the morning, they would conduct ATOPSIS, and in the afternoon, they would go and deliver babies to finish their rounds. And it wasn’t until someone in the mid-1800s, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, realized that’s all of these doctors who conducted ATOPSIS in the morning weren’t washing their hands before they delivered babies in the afternoon. And he pointed it out! He said, “Guys! You’re the Problems”. 

But these doctors or the ‘men of science’ ignored him and called him crazy for 30 years! Until finally, somebody realized that if they just washed their hands, it would go away. And that’s what happened. When doctors started sterilizing their instruments and washing their hands, the “Black Death of Childbirth” disappeared.

The lesson learned is that sometimes you the problem and blame everyone else, except yourself. Take accountability for your actions. You can take all the credits in the world for the things you do right as long as you also take responsibility for the wrong. It must be a balanced equation! You don’t get it one way and not the others. You get to take credits when you also take accountability.

Story Credit: Simon Sinek

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