We are neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, yet there has come our way visions of the inevitability of the trend toward perfection.
In June, we made an overnight stop with friends on our way to the convention at Atlantic City, and there witnessed a battle royal, or of blindness as it seemed to us, between two armies of red ants. Out host informed us that they had been fighting for four days and nights. In the end, there remained but a small number of the fighters, while the ground was strewn with heaps of dead on what men have called the glorious field of battle.
We were unable to miss the similarity of man of our time to ants in the Korean struggle, killing off or maiming great numbers of our young men as well as those of other nations. With this picture before us, added to the knowledge that men have been performing so since the dawn of history, the future seems rather hopeless.
We know that in our world today, as always, two great forces are in battle-one destructive, the other constructive. Where will other centuries bring us in the evolution of mankind? In authoritative sacred literature we read, “in every conflict man gains strength; with every conquest he attains to greater heights,” There seems to be great balance in the effects of evil and of good in their endless strife of supremacy. But we have assurance in the following: “The time will come when everything in life will be evolved into the state of perfect man.” The process is so very slow. In our impatience we would have perfection, and now. But that is not the plan of the Creator.
On the other hand, if we visualize all the people earnestly engaged in constructive activities of different sorts, the case looks brighter. Happily each one of us may play a small part in this great drama of life. It is for those of us having the advantage of knowledge of fundamental law in the use of drugs for relief and cure of disease under the name of homoeopathy to press forward, bringing, so far as we may, physical and mental health to those coming under our care. That is our part in the great scheme of life which is advancing slowly but steadily toward the day of completion. It is certainly helpful to carry in mind the sure and invincible trend toward perfection in man and to realize that each of us plays a small but important part in it.
Our behavior in our daily round of contact with patient is a wholesome and sound activity, supplementing and supporting the countless agencies working toward constructive evolution of man. There seems to be no exact line of division between our contribution and that of laborers on the purely spiritual plane. At times, working with our patients, it seems we even step over into the high activity of priesthood in bringing encouragement to those whose eyes see not the light and giving them a glimpse of the great underlying urge toward the real goal of life and living expressed in those magnificent words, “IN TUNE WITH THE INFINITE”.
HOW LONG DOES THE PRACTICE OF PEDIATRICS REALLY LAST?.
[Read by title before the Bureau of Pediatrics, I.H.a., June 19, 1951].
After watching people, as they unload themselves, for nearly thirty years, I have wondered many times if Pediatrics is not a lifetime proposition. True, we divided and classify the practice and call it by other names but the clinical application is still pediatrical. Thinking I might be trying to be superior to others, i tool myself aside and, by as nearly an objective examination of myself as possible, decided that there was not difference in level and that I am just as guilty as the patients, perhaps more so. In other words we are all infants from birth to death and the practice of medicine is only one continuous pediatric round.
There is only one thing that will overcome all of this and, if it could ever be accomplished, would perhaps do much to overcome the neurosis which plague us today. It is education into adulthood. It would have to be a completely revised education, something the like of which has never been followed out. There have been inklings of it here and there.
First, we would have to cast aside all previous beliefs and tenets, to wipe the slate clean for operational purposes. All of the aforesaid beliefs, etc., to be critically examined and tested and rejected, if found false. Much of our infantilism goes back to superstition and old wives tales. When it is said to test them, it is to test them, not with a preconceived theory to be bolstered up, but to lead us on a safe and sure track.
Second, we must learn to face reality. The above would help us to face reality with far more forebearance, because we could face it with more understanding of what we are up against and even, perhaps, why. It is only by cold intellect that we can guide our emotions and throw out that which is unessential and apply ourselves to that which is essential.
So-called adulthood amounts to no more than a suppression of infancy. We try to act life adults from social pressure only. When the bars are down, we are merely a bunch of infants. The “second childhood” bears this out. However, it might be wise to call it “terminal childhood.” Medicine has attached the gaudy name of Geriatrics to it and had made a special racket of it. A pediatrician could do it better.