Rarely does one find philosophy within The Mountain Mail. Recently, however, there was such an occurrence.
As a child in the 1950s, I was surrounded by adults who devoted much of their free time volunteering. They supported Boys/Girls Scouts, YMCA, PTA and even an after-school band. I patterned myself after these principled people.
I learned gratitude was essential to emulating them by giving my time with Civil Air Patrol, Coast Guard Auxiliary, 52 years with Boy Scouts and my expertise as a certified flight instructor, USAF flight surgeon and board-certified family practice and emergency medicine physician.
Even though my wife and I are only summer residents, we have volunteered with many civic organizations including schools and library, giving both things and our time.
When I first read “I ain’t got time for that,” I really thought such raillery was written by a local Dave Barry devoted to ludicrous exaggeration. Reading to the end confirmed this was another screed from a local woman who was offended to be living among so many dolts. Even loving Salida as I do, the venom and spite within this letter kept obtruding.
I recently wrote that all should do their own research. I, therefore, scanned Colorado licensing boards. The author appears nowhere: not acupuncture, not pharmacy, not teaching.
Although there is no registry for degrees from institutions of higher education, ignorance of the meaning of the “editorial we” and vocabulary used indicates an education terminating in a high school diploma. Yet the author condemned, by name, several with significant degrees, including one with a doctorate, and the owner of the paper whose dedication to fairness demanded publication of even her criticism of him. She clearly does not understand “devoir de reserve.”
Apparently, at last year’s Independence Day celebration this woman lectured the community who did not embrace her political views. When someone sent her a letter objecting to her usurping the patriotic celebration, she responded that as a “community leader” she would never be silent. This must have offended many as the “Freedom Chorus” is now 40 percent smaller than previously.
With years of psychiatric training and a degree of compassion and understanding, I feel deep sympathy for the vaporish despondency suffered by this woman. How can one not sympathize with one so disconsolate? One must feel pity for a woman who promises to go on cataloging and publishing each of her many outrages when time requirements are met. Only a misanthrope offended by humans can only find solace in her cats.
Parents constantly encourage children to succeed in school because of the need to prepare for good jobs. However, Socrates cautioned, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” What he meant was that only in striving to know and to understand ourselves do our lives have any meaning or value.
Adding to the lives of others, not in heaping opprobrium on them, will allow us when our lives are nearly spent to look back with satisfaction and gratitude.
J. Curtis Kovacs,