•He is a good man in the real sense of the word. When he wants something done, he helps you with it until it is done, and sees to it that you do it. He appreciates even small favors done for him. He has loyalty to the powers that be, and he stands by it no matter what. In spite of his lofty position, he has still retained his humaneness and compassion. He commands the honor and respect of his children as a father. Life is lonely at the top, as they have said in some articles but, to my knowledge, when he acts, he does it for the good of the majority, and not to just please a few.
•Whatever may be said of him, I would like to quote from a Jewish Scholar who said “With me, it is a very small thing, that I should be judged by you, or by any human court. I do not even judge myself–it is God who judges me.” For my editorial, which I wrote in behalf of fathers, I talked of my father whom I knew, and I would like to think the Chairman was that kind of a father too, to his children, and to our Medical Center. And so, our dear Chairman, and Father of our Medical Center, sleep in eternal peace with our Heavenly Father.
FATHERS DAY WAS CELEBRATED THIS JUNE in many parts of the world, and although there is a commercial aspect behind the celebration, the idea is a worthwhile cause. After all, a father is one´s progenitor, and has always been responsible (ideally) for one´s welfare.
I miss my father, on whom I had patterned my life and many actions. He was the epitome of an ideal healer, like many of his time. My father did not put material gain over the rewards of doing well to his fellow men.
It may be true that I may be over-idealizing him, but I certainly do not see many of his kind around–industrious, frugal, and above all, compassionate. Many of his patients see him as the ultimate authority with regards to their well-being, and in fact, the thought of just being in the waiting room made them feel better already, in anticipation of whatever medication or wise words and healing hands were to be part of the consultation. There were many patients who endeavored to visit him, not necessarily because he was the best (except from his family´s point of view), but that he was compassionate and personal.
Now, I am a father, and I feel the weight of my children´s lives and well-being as part of my influences, similarly as I feel for my patients that I have tried to heal at one point or another.
But, of course, I am not my father, and I have chosen another path to well-being and happiness, and I am content without any apologies. I feel, though, for other fathers, other seniors, other older people who still carry expectations from another past life, where values were somehow different, possibly less materialistic, maybe even kinder and gentler.
Every so often I pass by Aurora Boulevard, and I drop by UERMMMC, more often than not, Tuesdays, to attend our weekly eye conferences, but which I go to rarely nowadays. I see the College of Medicine and the University Hospital of my youth where I spent more than half of my active life as a doctor, and now, slightly more distantly as a sometimes sad observer.
There seems to be, at times, a tendency towards being insensitive, forgetting that, you are not just treating the sickness, but the total person, the total individual human person-as postulated by the late Dr. Jaime Zaguirre. A lack of simple courtesy, a sympathetic listening ear, and a sympathetic human touch-isolated cases perhaps, but nevertheless, something to ponder upon.
On another note, many of our senior colleagues often wish to keep on learning and to participate in seminars and conferences related to the academe. Some of our organizations do offer them certain recognitions such as discounts to annual conventions. Others have to be at least at the top of their game, like presidents, to avail of free registrations. I find this goal for lifelong learning admirable, but I regret that organizations will not make special arrangements to facilitate this for our older colleagues.
The difference between the past and the now is that we were all young then, and possibly more powerful. Being an active member carries a certain weight enhanced by an ascribed reputation of being able to decide and enable important decisions in life and health, and by extension, happiness of a few. We were fathers (or mothers as the case may be) then, in positions of authority, to grant benefits and enable improvements on others´ quality of life or living.
The world has certainly evolved and, in this case, negatively, wherein some have lost the simple courtesies my colleagues have expected and thought about, a nostalgic remembrance of what a gentler, kinder world it used to be. Whereas old age and wisdom ascribed to historical authority used to be revered, that seems to have long gone, and many of the current crop today lack a certain foresight that, one day, they will also grow old and hence it would make them better people to hone their emphatic skills in advance.
They should understand, being fathers, with responsibility not only for their own children, but also figuratively for other beings, as they are now in positions of authority.
Compassion is such a big word for such a natural expression; it can make a better, healthier, happier world. Happy Fathers Day to all. Rene-Edgar R. Mendoza, MD