Saturday, January 01, 2005

First, Do No Harm

These words popped into my head this morning, as a sort of New Year's resolution, or possibly just as a good philosophy to live by.
Looking it up in Google, I find that the first returned result explains that this phrase is not part of the Hippocratic oath ( That's okay, I guess. It's still a fine sentiment and, I think, a message that all of us would do well to follow.
Happy New Year.


I have sent in the past two days two complimentary letters to authors. They probably could be characterized as "fan mail". Actually, the impulse just struck me that I should express my thanks for things that give me pleasure, even if I don't personally know the giver. One of the authors, Seth Mnookin, I wrote about in this blog yesterday. The other is a local writer, Zachary Smith, who wrote a staff column in the North County Times (San Diego County) this morning. Just a nice piece on the pleasures of taking the "scenic route" as opposed to the Interstate.


I also sent a few unexpected holiday cards to old friends and acquaintances last week, in hopes of renewing contacts lost over the years. The one that I felt strongest about was to a woman I first met in the first grade, who was a friend all through elementary and junior high school, but who became an object of widespread scorn in later junior high and senior high, because she wasn't beautiful.
Too little, too late, but I have felt the need for a long time to apologize to her. I didn't, exactly, in my note, but I let her know that I believe she always was a fine person. I still owe her an apology, and hope to get to that, but I didn't want to start off the renewed contact that way. It just didn't seem right -- in fact, seemed like it would be somewhat self-serving as it would ease my conscience but perhaps call up painful memories for her. Maybe just better to say some kind words that don't bring up specific history? I don't know. It's just what seemed right as I was composing the note.