This blog is about Empowering, Educating and Entertaining Physicians, not about current political events. We will try very hard to stay out of those, but we cannot help ourselves in this situation. We cannot claim to truly appreciate the prejudice and fear that Black people suffer in America. We are also aware that our Indian and Asian friends have suffered prejudice, as do essentially all women. Richard works with many well-educated minorities, so he is somewhat in a bubble in terms of seeing first hand what they have suffered. Christy, on the other hand, works with women and girls of all races and economic opportunities, so she has seen the impact of violence, sexism, and missed education play out in the health and well being of mothers and their children.
We are pro-Black. We are pro-Police. The only thing we are “anti” in this whole conversation is anti-Hate.
We all need to put more time and energy into self-examination of our mindset and behaviors and how they can perpetuate the prejudice, discrimination and racism that others suffer. We should all start with our family first and our circle of influence second. Sometimes that will make us unpopular with a racist grandparent or a very stubborn facebook friend, for example, but that is no price to pay for trying to improve culture.
We, as professionals of all backgrounds and colors, should be reaching out to leadership – and if there is not adequate leadership then become the leaders ourselves – on how to not only change the culture of prejudice, discrimination and racism, but also how to improve the communities (of all colors) of those less fortunate than us in a meaningful, transforming way. We should not simply expect the police, educators, and local leaders to spend time helping the communities they work in, but we as educated one-percenters should do the same.
Based on our own research and reading, one of the best ways to help all disadvantaged people is through education. But it has to start early, in elementary school, or better, at birth. Some great books on this topic include The Social Animal by David Brooks and Whatever it Takes by Paul Tough. We do not have the means to form a new school, or fix all of the bad schools out there, but we do have the means (and one day the logistics) to impact some good families in difficult situations by, for example, helping them afford a good private school or lodging in a good school district, and by giving them the opportunity to pursue additional training or education without worrying about putting food on the table during that time. Tens of thousands of physicians each impacting a few less-fortunate families in such a way can effect multi-generational change.
This dream and the work of parenting our children to see past labels to our shared human value and potential is our hope for impacting our country. What is yours? We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this topic. Please feel free to comment below or e-mail us.
-Richard and Christy
Below is a poem often attributed to Mother Teresa (because it hung on the wall of her Children’s home in Calcutta, India) However, it was originally written in 1968 by Kent Keith. Authorship aside, the words are powerful for us, particularly today.
The Paradoxical Commandments
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.