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Where Will You Be

Where Will You Be
 
Dishonesty has infected society in ways most of us cannot identify. Psychological research firms create marketing paradigms to appeal to certain subgroups of our population to accept ideas which many times produces cash sales in one form or another. We frequently hear about the Russians interfering with our elections. We have plenty of homegrown political action committees creating issue adds that distort the facts and create fear in our citizens. We do not need to look far to witness the openly dishonest evolution we are being swept up in.
 
I opened the Commercial Appeal today and read the lead story. It seems that a young black man was shot and killed for stealing a drink from a convenience store. It happened that an immigrant-owned the store. It was in a rough-tough part of Memphis. The young man was shot in the leg, made his way out of the store, and was found two days later dead. He had bled to death.
 
Those who knew the young man extolled his virtues as a great person who was gunned down senselessly. What gets lost in the narrative is that the young man was a thief. It appears that everyone who is emotionally crushed by his death avoids the truth about the circumstances surrounding his death. If he had not gone into the store to steal something, he would be alive today. The community around the store ignores the act of stealing prior to the shooting. Maybe it is because the young man was stealing from an immigrant.
 
I do not believe that someone should lose their life because they stole a can of soda. If someone knows they could lose their life for stealing a can of soda, the proper course of action is to avoid the temptation to steal. If you can not stop yourself from stealing, acknowledge the possibility that you might get shot as you take the chance. The community needs to spread the news everywhere, stealing is not an appropriate way to procure goods and services of any kind. Stealing in that community carries a real risk of death.
 
Another article was about a Salvadorian man who was arrested during a protest, jailed, and found to be an illegal alien. He was subsequently detained by the immigration service. The author of the editorial believed that the man deserved to be let go, free and clear from the immigration service. If the Salvadorian were not at the demonstration doing his job as a reporter, he would never have gotten arrested. According to the author, the Salvadorian was streaming video of the work protest, enjoying his first amendment rights to do so. Stop a minute. First amendment rights should not be extended to someone who is not a citizen of the United States, especially an illegal immigrant regardless of what they were doing. The absurdity of it all. And for what gain?
 
Over the past twenty years, a significant number of our citizens are accepting and participating in dishonest behaviors, believing that their aberrant behaviors should have no consequence to their financial, physical, mental, or emotional health. I have classmates in medical school who believed their school loans should be forgiven or dismissed because they just did not want to pay them back. Some have been jailed because of their choice to not repay their loans. They sincerely believe they are victims of an unfair system. They have no regard for the lending institution nor their commitment to pay back the money.
 
We have had patients who have altered their prescriptions or diverted their pain medication for cash. When I expelled them from my practice, they felt they were abandoned unfairly, since their intention was not to get me in trouble. They refused to acknowledge that the medical board has zero tolerance for prescription fraud or illegal distribution of pain medication.
 
Teachers are being sued for failing children who do not do their homework or pass classroom tests. The children’s parents believe their child was treated unfairly by a teacher who held standards for passing a class. A variation on this theme is the current practice of passing every young adult in college. The current formula for college reimbursement is based on graduation rates, not college freshman matriculation rates. University presidents nationally are demanding that their graduation rates increase to maximize their government subsidies. We will be getting college graduates in the workplace soon who cannot read or write.
 
Pharmaceutical companies are hiring New York advertising agencies to investigate new drugs, to find new uses for drugs going off patent and to create television commercials for public viewing. People are told to get flu shots even when the influenza strain infecting the masses is not in the current immunization itself. 
 
Pharmacy benefit management companies have created standards for prescription reimbursement that do not resemble, in any way, sound medical practice. These same companies hire physicians who are ignorant of proper medical care to oversee their step approach for drug therapy. The physicians rarely reveal their identity, their location, or their practice expertise. Sometimes you can hear them typing on a computer, desperately trying to find some information on the internet that can help them justify their opposition to our request for authorization of a medication.  Medical insurance companies are creating their own brand of standard practice guidelines that are associated with proprietary data they own.
 
Facts are no longer presented to the American population by telejournalists, newspaper reporters, or radio show hosts. Americans are fed constant propaganda from one political side or another. To make matters worse, every industry including healthcare has propaganda in one form or another.
 
If you watch television, read newspapers and magazines, read and/or research on the internet, or listen to talk radio, you may become a victim of biased information put forth as factual data. I am sad to say that it appears that many of our citizens are taking the position that:
 
It is okay to steal from the man; it is okay to falsely accuse the man; it is okay lie to the man; it is okay to disrespect the man publicly; it is okay to lie to the public; it is okay to lie in court; it is okay to aggressively confront any lawman for any reason at any time; it is okay to falsely advertise; it is okay to claim benefit when one does not exist;  it is okay for children to tell their parents what to do; it is okay for the ill dignified to remain ill dignified regardless of who they hurt; it is okay for no one to take responsibility for their actions.
 
Freedom comes at a high price: personal responsibility, regardless of your self-directed beliefs. We as a collective, have lost our personal responsibilities to our fellow man. Until we get it back, our collective and individual fates are uncertain.
 
If personal self-gain is the only aspect that matters in your life, this is your time. The meek will eventually inherit the Earth. Where will you be when that happens?
 
Doc
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