Last week I celebrated my 60th birthday. I had 3 wonderful days in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It gave me time to both relax and play golf, and reflect on my life over the past 6 decades. I have been married to my wife, Susan for over thirty two years. I have 2 successful daughters, Alyson and Ilene, who are pursuing their respective interests in the areas of acting and law. My father will be 91 years young October 31. He is healthy and sharp as a tack! In fact he recently purchased a new car and reminded me that he will give it to me in 5 years when he gets his next one!
Communication and Caring
I am dismayed that the nation was placed into limbo over the past several weeks, where I was constantly reminded of the disagreements of lawmakers by the headlines and newscasts. Where no person or party could agree on the best choice for the American people, we watched stunned and incapacitated as congress lumbered and stumbled for weeks closing National Parks, putting people out of work, preventing access to archives,monuments, and all of our national treasures. I continue to ask myself how such a thing could ever happen, especially since we have been there before. Bad history is not supposed to repeat itself, given our prior experiences. It seems to me we, as a nation and society, have advanced in products and informational access via the internet and other technologies. Yet it also seems to me we are failing in the most important areas of living- communication and caring about one another. I have constantly reminded friends, family, and patients about my take and philosophy of our current lifestyles. Some of you remember Pepsi Cola’s 1970′s commercial about the “me” generation. It appears that in today’s society, my take is that substituting “only me” generation would be more appropriate.
A more accountable government
So as our lawyer leaders argue over what is best for us, shouldn’t we, the American public, have say in what is best for us? The Constitution begins with the words “We the People”. We all want a fair solution to all public matters, and what is fair in one person’s eye, may be unfair to another. It seems both congress and the President (and whichever party or individual you support) have only relied on the “only me” principle, taking the American people hostage, ignoring the better interests of our country in favor of their own agendas. Never since Vietnam or the Civil War have I seen such schism. Maybe it’s time to utilize our technology for us, the American people, to vote our views electronically, and have both congress and the president to abide by our collective concerns. Maybe those same individuals who lead our great country should accept that doing what they were doing and the way they were doing it was wrong. That “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” approach should be instituted immediately. Why should the president and congress get different health care benefits and perks than what they are deciding for us, the American people? Why should they have been given any salary, as they deprived others of their’s? Why should they not have compromised on both a balanced budget and national health care to achieve a successful option? And if their budget and healthcare approaches fail, why not build in options to change or scrap them? Opinion is not agreement. Opinion does not guarantee success. Opinion is only a first step in getting resolution to an issue that is in conflict. We need leaders to have an opinion, but also to resolve issues given others’ concerns and realities. And- “we the people”- must be heard and accounted for.
So another important birthday wish is to have government more accountable.
Some Personal Favorites
I will share with you my personal “best” lists. I remind you these are solely my opinions and I am willing to change my choices based on others’ choices and experiences.
Favorite places to visit:
- Victoria British Colombia- especially Royal British Museum where you can walk the simulated eras and towns of the past.
- The House on the Rock, in Wisconson.
- Forest Gump
- House of Sand and Fog
- Midnight in Paris
Favorite Broadway Shows:
- Les Miserables
- Jersey Boys
- Joshua Bell
- Ben Kingsley
- Simon and Garfunkel
- Angel Hair Pata with garlic and oil
- Chicken Salad