The Man and His Work
Can you separate them?
WE live in a time when the needs of the many are outweighed by the needs of a few. We live in a time when a Georgetown University Law Center attorney complains that an entire political party is declaring war on women because she cannot get the Tax Payers to pay for her contraceptive pills.
There are worlds where what you are should be consistent with what you do. I do not want a child molester working at a daycare center. I do not believe that a non-repentant terrorist should be teaching in Universities.
Lastly I do not feel that those who could not pass an FBI exam should be able to run for office of the President of the United States. That’s just to name a few situations where the person’s personal character is fair game when it comes to criticizing their work. Look at our President. He was voted in because he was cool. Not because he was a good potential President.
Some careers were meant for the criminally insane. For example, painting. Hitler wanted to be a painter but his paintings just never caught on. Just imagine how many people would be alive today had he been a little more talented with the brush.
Some careers (I feel) require a calling. Mainly the clergy. I’ve seen many wonderful preachers that knew the Bible inside and out and could sound like thunder in front of a congregation. Ya see, this occupation is quite enigmatic. Is it better to have a preacher who can bless you with the word of God, then in his spare time court prostitutes; or have a preacher that can cure insomnia with their sermons but are as pure as Ned Flanders?
In 1992 Steve Martin in a movie called “Leap of Faith” played the role of a traveling Evangelist that would roll into towns and set up a circus tent and “save souls”. He would clean the Christians of their sins and their money. In the movie (Which I feel is one of Martin’s best works after L.A. Story) his bus breaks down in a cow town in Kansas which has been stricken by a drought. Martin’s character is good. He’s a con-man that gets every last penny the worshippers have to donate. Only in this town, the people have very little money but are need of a true miracle.
They need rain so bad they give money they don’t have. Martin, who has been a con-artist since the age of 15 gets involved with the people of the town and is torn between taking them; or praying for them. At the end of the movie Martin is seen “skipping” town on a big rig while the township waits for their miracle. In the final scene the truck driver asks Martin, are you in trouble? Martin replies: “For the first time, No”! The truck is seen driving off as rain falls upon the small farming town.
Many people say: “I can’t watch that actor’s movies because I hate their politics. (Sean Penn)? Again, I’m not paying to hear him talk about politics. Sean Penn is fine actor. My favorite actor, Robert DeNiro, is a liberal. I found out that his father was gay and this explained much of it for me, but unlike the activists who use their fame as a political platform (George Clooney) DeNiro has always been low keyed and level headed about politics. Yet I’ve never engaged in a political conversation with DeNiro and do not care if I ever do.
I happen to know an orthopedic surgeon that will remain nameless, that has tremendously poor bedside manners. His ratings on “YELP” really suck. But he’s the best Orthopedic Surgeon I’ve ever seen. On the other hand, the worst orthopedic surgeon I’ve ever known was just loved by his patients. Although he would operate on the wrong extremity, they would trust him enough to let him do the correct extremity a second time. They would come in with ink on the wrong extremity saying: “Not This LEG”. This guy was awful but his patients (usually little old ladies) just loved him.
The other guy with the poor bedside manners has saved many a young Major League Baseball players’ careers. (For that matter, NBA and NFL players) Yet he gets judged on his smile and sensitivity instead of his technical surgical prowess. Again, I’m not paying him to be happy and funny. I’m paying him to fix my knee. (The correct one). Keep that in mind. Great technicians are not always the most laid back individuals.
I will leave you with one quote from Gandhi. He claimed that life was one whole unit. I think his exact words were: “You cannot do good in one aspect of life; while trying to do bad in another. Life is one indivisible whole”. There are times when we need to separate the different hats that people wear. The Great doctor with the poor bedside manner is not a nurse. He’s a mechanic. I’m not paying him to hold my hand and tell me: “You’ll do just fine”. I’d just as soon not see anyone and wake up with a perfect surgical result.
Watching a Sean Penn movie will not make me a communist or a communist supporter. On the other hand, trusting my life or my family member’s life to a doctor that I know has an abuse problem is negligent on my behalf.
Next time we’ll take it one step further and talk about how I can still “Love” someone I can’t stand.