William believes that many of the problems we face in the 21st century come from taking too narrow a view of the human predicament. Being human is complex and seems to become ever more so. When ill health arises it is tempting to simplify, categorise, label and anonymise. This often entails ignoring or brushing aside the paradoxes, contradictions and contexts that largely comprise meaning in relationships. These are often concealed within and around the immediate issue. People can all simplify like this for their own reasons – the patient, the patient’s family, the healthcare professional, the commissioning and service managers and, of course, the politicians responsible for setting policy. We all allow deeper problems to fester below the surface often without knowing it. Then we lose sight of what lies beneath.