Friday, July 24, 2009

A clear perspective of your own point of view

In 1969 and before, I was on call for orthopedic injuries at a downtown hospital in Lotus city. It was hard work and I was on call every other night. The Emergency Dept. had a number of Doctor's Parking spaces adjacent, but often they were filled, including by the police, who were often part of the scene. I was a bit cocky and felt if the police were in one of the doctor designated spaces, and it was fully occupied, I could park with impunity on the adjacent street. I got a lot of tickets which I ignored, as I was charmed by my own rectitude in the matter. One day when the pianist was particularly busy with children, she received a visitor from the police department who told her I was under arrest and should appear at the station. No reason was given her. I hastened down, not knowing the reason, was informed, booked, fingerprinted, and jailed. The desk sergeant said I could make bail. I am reminded of all this by the recent humiliating experience of a Harvard professor in the news, who took so much umbrage at a Cambridge police officer for doing his job. I was a doctor and I believed they were unfairly dealing with me, but I was my own worst enemy, and down deep I knew it. Poor Professor Gates might have at least not reacted in such knee jerk fashion. I made bail and later,as I appeared before the judge, I argued my case, as I thought it was a good one. The judge smiled and said, " 50 dollars or ten days,and all your ticket arrears to be paid." Never walk loudly and carry a small stick!

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