Thank The Doctor

For Paul.

Like any pilot, he feared hospitals.  Any fool knew the buildings themselves were stable and not prone to injure their inhabitants, so he knew his fear must have been generated by something inside the buildings.  It was.  For this pilot, the doctor was the root of the fear.  The doctor was the one person who could take away, without him having any say, what he worked so hard to achieve–the wonder of flight.

He couldn’t help but notice that his fear was never lonely.  The other pilots feared the doctor too.  More than that, he noticed that even some civilians feared entering those sterile buildings and visiting this flesh expert.  “But what would give the civilians pause?” he wondered, now distracted by the thought.  Quick as lightening, the horrible truth revealed itself: doctors were omnipotent.

He wondered if they knew.  Perhaps they did, then again perhaps they didn’t.  Prior experience told him that this wasn’t exactly the kind of information that should be shared lightly.  Who could he tell?  If doctors didn’t know their power, upon being told, they might begin to abuse it.  But if they did know?  Wow.  What a benevolent group of individuals they were!

More than soldiers, more than policemen, more than politicians, more than clergy, it is doctors that hold this life ransom.

“Take this,” they say, knowing full well its a crap-shoot.

“Do that,” they command, never feeling resistance.

“You’ll live,” they pronounce so matter-of-factly that the recipient of even the worst boo-boo’s spirit is lifted.

“You’re going to die,” they deliver, never betraying whether this is good news or bad.

Truly more powerful than the caped crusader himself, these lab-coated demigods hold all of life’s keys.  With a sure-grip they hold humanity’s heart in their stable hands.  And yet they choose not to squeeze too tightly.

He realized, then, that it’s okay to be afraid.  But he knew he should also be grateful.  He should be grateful that these quiet professionals choose to meekly implement their duties with reserve.  He wouldn’t allow himself to consider the other option; it was too terrible.

So go on being afraid, it’s justified.  Just the same, never forget to thank the doctor.



  1. Sam

    Almost using the same thought as Seinfeld talking about the labels we choose to ignore and obey. Can cause cancer from smoking…eh no big deal. “Dry Clean Only”….now that’s important!


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