Generation Gap

There is nothing wrong with your eyes, it’s called “The Generation Gap

The other day my wife (76 yrs old) and I (85 yrs old)  visited a Doctor (Late 40’s early 50’s) to discuss optionss for a proceedure my wife was diagnosed to require. One of the first things he said was, “I’m just a Doctor, I’m not more or less than anyone you know, I’m just a Doctor/Teacher.” At first I was confused and wanted to say, “Are we going to see the Doctor who will perform the operation?” He went on for awhile explaining the options, my wife told him we wanted the full operation, that she had been living with pain for two years now, and wanted and end to the misery she was experiencing. He remarked that was a good choice, and added some more information, at which time I asked him if he was the Doctor that was performing the operation. He answered “yes, he woulw be the surgeon, that “my wife had made a good choice, and again remarked that he “wanted to explain everything to us before we made the decision, that he was just a Doctor not an advisor like any other professional but that we were the only ones that could make those decisions”, and that “we know what is best for us once we understood everything”. He also said at one point that he shouldn’t be respected any more that any other man.

I thought for awhile and I said, “As 85 and 76 years olds, our generation was taught to respect Doctors, Policemen, Teachers, Elders, and anyone else in authority”. His comment to that was, “Yes, but not revere them, as they were just people like we were and able to make our own choices”.  I began to understand more of where he was coming from, but fully understood that he did not understand where we were coming from.

It is my belief that we are all products of our experience, and that there are common experiences and there are uncommon ecperiences. I could have had parents that said, “Son, never trust Doctors, Policemen, Teachers or Elders, they are all quacks and you need to decide everything for yourself”. I’m sure those parental types existed in my time, but I know that if they did exist they were far in the minority.

So what’s my point here? I was offended when he questioned my need to respect authority. It is in my DNA. I can’t just drop it. I felt that whatever he was saying to me was in his DNA also, and that he felt he had to say those thing. (In retrospect, his statements could have been interpreted as a God Syndrome way of speaking, but I gave him the respect of believing that he was speaking to me from the heart.)

I think a better way for him to have approached us would have been to say “I am a Surgical Doctor, capable of fixing your issue. I would first like to take you through all of the possibilities and ramifications of what you are facing, and then I want you to make your own decision. Only you know what is best for you”.

None the less, he opened both our eyes, and for that we both came away better for the encounter.