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  • Dr. Ted Klontz

Random Thoughts - August

What does it mean to be self-serving? I recently heard a very vocal and visible US Senator who for years has proudly and loudly promoted his public stand and impeccable record of resisting (and in some cases actually preventing) emergency help from the US government being given to those who have experienced the tragedy of violent weather events. He doesn’t even think this help should be given to US citizens (Texas for example) let alone foreign nationals. I listened in amazement as he was now demanding help from the government for the people he represents who recently have similarly suffered.

I wonder if he even realizes the irony or what could be called his hypocrisy? I wonder if he will be man enough to admit he was wrong, or if he will maintain that it is imperative to help “his” people, and not others? I wonder if he will change his position. It feels good to know that his historic stand hasn’t kept his people from getting the help they need. That isn’t always the case in politics as recent history exemplifies. No revenge factor present here. I wonder if his ardent followers will ask him to be accountable for his inconsistencies.

I wonder how much and in what ways I’m just like him? By the way, there are politicians who admit they were wrong. I heard one on TV say those words, last night. “I was wrong.” And she still got elected. And she wasn’t a democrat, or a liberal. Refreshing. Unusual. Rare.

Speaking of revenge, I was impressed when I heard the head of a hospital’s critical care unit respond to the question “Why not put those who refuse to protect themselves with what we know can help them from getting sick (masks, vaccines, etc.) at the end of the line for help in these days of an overwhelmed medical system?” I’ve wondered about that myself. If someone doesn’t want to wear a seat belt, or motorcycle helmet, or “take the jab” (as the Brits say) …. fine. Why ask me to pay for their choice, financially or with delayed medical treatment for me or my loved ones, when their decision results in catastrophe for the individual who made the choice?

The Dr. responded, “We don’t do that. We treat people who are needing help, regardless of what they may have done or not done to get themselves in the position they find themselves in. Where would we stop?” he asked. That’s an impressive answer in my book. If there was a religion that was formed around that idea, and truly (and that word truly is the key word) practiced this philosophy I would consider joining up. I need more of that kind of thinking, and exposure to those kinds of people.

I read today that having a cup of coffee when I go shopping or as I shop, increases my spending by 50%, and of non-necessities by 70%.

William Blake said, “Your politics are not what you tell yourself you believe, they are not the set of ideas that you identify with or look to for personal validation of your goodness as a human being. Your politics are expressed in the choices that you make, the way you treat other people and the actions you take.” Sobering words.

I’m really old. I lived through the better part of the 1940’s, and obviously all of the 1950’s, 60’s, ‘70’s, 80’s…….. It is incredibly difficult for me to watch those who are vigorously, proudly, vocally, diligently, effectively (because of their power positions) working to take away the freedoms of the most vulnerable in our culture. What do I find so difficult? They are nearly word for word what the people in power were saying and doing in the in the ’50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond. Same arguments. Same rationalizations. Same behaviors. Same results. Want a little taste? Watch “The Butler” movie.

Watching what is going on these days, leaves me with the painful sense that despite my best intentions, the world I will be leaving to those I love, is just as small, dangerous, restrictive, and unsafe (if not more so) in terms of fear, violence, racism, sexism, genderism, and all the other “isms” as the one I grew up in. My being in this world, as far as these things are concerned, has not helped any of that, one whit. That is painful to admit. Worse yet, I may have not left them and their children with enough air and water to survive.


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