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Some contributions of Dr. Mario Alonso Puig to education

June 3, 2020

One of my proposals, among others, in this time of isolation that has been “imposed” on us has been to train me more in matters that have to do with what is most characteristic of our human condition in general, with the sole objective of continuing to grow and forming my personal being. 

As everything comes to us at the right time, I am fortunate to enrich myself every day, with the excellent youtube videos of this doctor that are really worth listening to. Every day I take out my space for listening, reflection, applications and consequences of their contributions.

He is a Spanish doctor, born in Madrid in 1955, a specialist in the digestive system and general surgery, with more than 26 years in operating rooms, in different countries. World eminence in intelligence and human cognition. Member of the New York Academy of Sciences. Felow in surgery at Harvard University and with other studies in the USA, Switzerland, France, England … International speaker highly valued at conferences and different scientific events. Author of a good collection of books …

He himself tells us that, very anxious as a doctor because of that deep connection with the human being, he looked for what he could do for it and face very serious challenges, since he had a very technical and scientific training that he needed to complete with some concern, seeking more what could he do so that communication and conversation activated mechanisms in the body of people that favored the healing of various situations, since he was certain of the internal forces present in people for their better recovery. It was a matter of reaching them. And he found a science that was hardly in its origins when he came, such as psychoneuroimmunobiology, that is: how the mind, through the nervous and endocrine systems, can affect the defense or immune system of the person. This led him to enter other fields such as leadership, communication and to take perspective on how we treat each other, how we talk to each other, how to understand ourselves, others and the world. “Although medicine is an exciting science, the human being is the infinite question …” always to be discovered.

His interest in education then arises from his clear desire to take from the human being what is truly within. He says that each person is, by our very essence, a granite of gold with the best possibilities and not copper or tin as so often and we mistakenly believe it … He has the deep conviction that “no human being is called to mediocrity”. On the contrary, everyone is called to greatness and this is not defined by culture but by our own nature. And bringing out the best within is the great task of education …

He has several very telling examples to explain it. One is that of the young man from Detroit, where he also studied, colored with all the “apartheid” that was lived in the USA at that time, coupled with very great poverty. The mother at one point proposes to her children that instead of watching TV, they rather read books, going to the city’s public library. After many school events that played against him, a teacher manages to touch his greatness with a small fact and seeks to touch the deep thread of his being, designated as the fool of the class. He regained his self-confidence, believed that it was possible to learn despite his sad birthplace and have a bright future. He went from being the worst student in the class to the best in his school, later becoming the best child neurosurgeon in history. He applied special techniques that no one had thought to apply before, in a historic and successful operation on some Siamese children, counting in the operating room with the presence of 70 eminent professionals and achieving total success … It is none other than Dr. Benjamin Solomon, Ben Carson.

In every human being, emphasizes Dr. Mario Alonso, there is potential, there is greatness. Opportunity spaces must be created so that these people can show what they have always had and will have and will not be able to show if there are no such possibilities. And this is a primary task of education, says Dr. Puig.

He also considers it very important to take into account the motivation for learning and life that is what moves action, in a mixture of nature and the environment: 

1° That of being in a safe environment that the person can control what happens and feel that they are on solid ground.

2° That of feeling recognized as people, valued by others.

3° Membership in the group where each one feels that they are truly welcomed.

4° The challenge, the challenge. If there were no challenges in life it would be very boring …

5° Grow, improve and always progress.

6° Contribute to the well-being of other people, having a purposeful life.

The most important thing is the fundamental motivation of the person, within these six. If no one has realized the talents that each girl or boy has, this is a serious problem for the family and the school. Talents are discovered by something that you are good at, that is natural in the person but that is not given, in due course, due importance …

I leave the curiosity of the readers to search for other wise contributions that he makes to us, first of all, for his personal being, who is captured from a very wide cultural baggage and, at the same time, of enormous simplicity. Characteristics of really great people …

Teresa Ramírez, fi – Bogotá (Colombia)