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Anything But Dentistry

Feb 3, 2020

In this episode, I share a book written by the amazing man that I was named after!

Fr. Daniel Homan OSB was a Benedictine Monk, lover of hockey, and wonderful family friend. He was one of those people who had the ability to make you feel like you are the most important person to him. He could make everyone feel this way - and it was a magical ability that I always admired. Sadly, he died about 10 years ago. His books and the work he started at his monastery still live on, though!

The one that I am focusing on in this episode is called “Radical Hospitality - Benedict’s Way of Love”. It was written by Fr. Dan and his friend, Lonni Collins Pratt and published in 2002.

The reason for sharing this little treasure is this - people are increasingly disengaged. Why? Because very few people spend any time in solitude. Being alone is scary - and it is so easy for us to avoid it by looking at a screen. This is problematic for us - especially those of us in dentistry - because we need the trust of our patients. How can we begin to earn their trust if they are disengaged and unable to enter into relationship with us?

I believe that understanding the three types of relating: cloister, community, and hospitality are absolutely key.

Furthermore, they must be balanced in our lives.

Yes - we must spend an equal amount of time in each of those forms of relationship. Our ability to create relationships of one type is directly proportional to our ability to be in relationship in the others.

Therefore - if we expect to have a good relationship with our patients [hospitality], we must have a good relationship with ourselves [cloister].

This means solitude.

There’s a reason that Dr. Pankey put that at the top of his “cross of dentistry”.