Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Some Things Have Changed For the Better

I'm going to print a couple of China pictures just to attract the eye of the casual blog browser. Who wouldn't like to visit or live in a house where one enters a doorways into a courtyard like this? Can the inhabitants be less than graceful and tasteful with those beautiful potted plants? By the way, the Chinese seem to prefer potted plants to flower beds.

I was going to take pictures of current projects but the light was gone by the time I got home and I had a different subject on my mind -- one of the things that has changed in my lifetime of which I reap the rewards. I believe it's a direct result of the women's movement of the mid-20th century, although there are those who would argue that society was changing in an inevitable way, at least in the US. I'm thinking specifically about the larger numbers of women a generation younger than myself who are professionals, especially, those I deal with in the medical professions.

Today I saw my ophthomologist [I CAN spell it, can you?], Viola Kanevsky. I've been seeing her for some years and she keeps me in appropriate contact lenses and glasses. She's gone into business on her own, instead of as an independent contractor in a chain. We have a strictly professional relationship but I feel I can trust her judgment and continued knowledge of my needs. I feel the same trust in my internist, Nina Previn, who follows my ongoing high blood pressure and refers me to the specialists I need. Both are no nonsense women, we don't get into personalities, and yet they have definite personalities that suggest trustworthiness and, best of all, intelligence. This is very different from the White Knights who were the doctors of an earlier generation. There's not a lot of time to talk, but I feel I am heard as an individual -- I'm rarely sure of that with a male doctor. So I rejoice that the last 50 years has produced a crop of women in the medical professions, intelligent, competent and able to relate to patients as people who also are intelligent and involved in their health care.

So just to pique your curiosity [yes, that's right, "pique" not peak or peek -- this is the sort of thing you have to know if you do transcription for pay] here are some Chinese veggies. On the left are chives, I believe, in the middle, who knows? Something in the cucumber family? They're pretty, aren't they? I think on the right are hearts of palm. I could be wrong all around. Because I cannot respond to comments directly, I want to say thank you to the reader who, a couple weeks ago, identified a fruit in a picture as a duran. If anyone knows these veggies, please leave a comment. By the way, comments are always welcomed.

I rejoice, too, that the newspaper [I suppose the TV too, although I wouldn't know, not having a TV] tell us good news now and then. Today it was a wonderful man who unhesitantly saved the life of a stranger who was having a seizure on the subway platform, fell onto the track before an oncoming train. The hero,jumped onto the track, protected the ill man with his body as the train -- five cars -- passed over them grazing and bruising but not otherwise harming them. Not only was the hero spontaneous in his decision to protect a stranger, he had two small daughters with him on the platform who will forever, the rest of their lives, carry in their memories of their father leaping, apparently to suicide, in order to save a person he did not know. And he came out alive -- to go home with them. What an incredible legacy for one's children! To me the wonderful thing is the spontaneity -- this was not someone sitting at home thinking, shall I write a check for a charity? Should I take a second job to pay for my kid's education? No, this was utter, almost in the blink of an eye, decision to care for a stranger. Most of us will never have that opportunity. But we can be grateful that some people have that capacity and hope that if such an event happened before our eyes we might be able to rise to the occasion and never be one of those abject cowards such as hide behind their curtains when someone is being attacked on the street in front of their houses. If we can sometimes see real heroism lauded in the media, maybe more of us will believe we too have the ability to care about others.

No comments :