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Posts published in “Day: April 22, 2021”

I’m sorry


It’s been a while since I haven’t written a weekly column. I have tried quite a few times. I’ve saved five drafts. But they were all pretty bitter. That’s not a good sentiment, so I have decided to forgo the weekly column. I apologize.

We don’t hear many apologies these days. I was taught as a child that when you make a mistake, or injure someone, their person or feelings, you should apologize. I’m apologizing here for not fulfilling my obligation for a weekly column. I doubt anyone reads these columns, so I don’t know if I’m hurting anyone’s feelings. Maybe I’m apologizing to make myself feel better about not fulfilling my obligation. You can see why I shouldn’t be writing a column this week. I’m not in the right mindset to persuade anybody. I’m sorry.

In medical school and residency training we were taught not to apologize to patients if you made a mistake. “They could use your apology as evidence against you in a lawsuit” was the teaching. I didn’t follow it. And in my thirty years of practice, I’ve only been sued once, and they decided to dismiss it after a year of preliminary hearings. Fear of lawsuits is an excuse for doctors to do bad things. I could tell you other stories, some of them quite touching, but I’m not going to write a column this week. I apologize.

I have wondered if Officer Chauvin ever felt he owed anybody an apology. Nine minutes of kneeling on a handcuffed man’s neck that led to his death seems like harming a person. But cops probably get the same lawyer’s advice I got in medical school. We have given the authority for justice to our legal system. That’s a mistake. It resides with us; each of us. The legal system should not be an excuse for bad behavior, just like medical training doesn’t make you infallible. We all make mistakes. And we all should be able to apologize.

But it seems some folks don’t think about an apology. They just don’t care if they hurt other people. What are we going to do about that? I think that’s why we developed our legal system; to help right unaddressed wrongs. But we all should still behave responsibly. Some of us just don’t. No law, no justice system will eliminate evil.

I am not saying that an apology for killing someone is justice. It’s not. Lady Justice, blindfolded, holds scales. Balance is healthy. But I write about health and balance all the time, not this week.

I have read some social media posts that turned me sour too, so I’m not going to rant about them. Some folks were pushing the idea that Officer Chauvin was mistreated by our justice system, that he didn’t get a fair trial; that got me riled up. But I’m not going to respond to those folks. Their perspective is not mine, so I’ll let it go.

And I’ve been paying close attention to the Idaho legislature. That was three of the five drafts. I haven’t heard any apologies from that direction. No apologies to the universities or colleges for the lack of faith displayed by our representatives when they killed their budget. No apologies for failing to fund the teachers who have worked pretty darn hard through this pandemic. But those drafts were dismal and bitter. Nobody wants to read that.

So, I’m sorry; no column this week.

The spring here on the Palouse has been beautiful, some wind and cool, but over all very fair. We have done a lot of yard work and I’m getting the siding up on the barn I’m building. That takes my time so I can’t get the column done this week. I’m sorry.

Apologies should be directed toward a person if they are to be sincere. So, Martha, my dear and loving wife who reads this column every week, I’m sorry.