Instructions from my cardiologist...

One of the things that I most respect about people is their honesty. If they are honest with me and/or others, I respect them. It rattles me when someone talks as if he or she knows something when in reality that person lacks the knowledge while wearing a mask of authority. Of equal interest and even more rattling, the dishonest person knows that he or she is lying even as they speak.

My cardiologist, Dr. Marchand, knows his job and talks to his patients so that that we know what we need to know or do. He looks into your eyes and tells you what is important. There is no BS when he talks to you. At 71, I especially like that kind of medical doctor. I have danced with death a couple of time; I do not have time for BS from doctors or everyone else.

I have mentioned Dr. Marchand in articles in the past. The most recent article was I Have Seen The Light. I had gone for a regular 6-month checkup for high blood pressure, which I take a little white pill. I am fine, but he wanted to check on me. I asked about why I was on a high. His explanation was the basis of that article.

A week after posting the article about Dr. Marchand's explanation of my high, I am in my office in my home writing and teaching online. I received a call from him...but he did not call about my heart. He wanted to talk more about my seeing the light. There was my cardiologist taking either 20-minute coffee break or early lunch in order to expand upon the phenomenon of my seeing the light.

In our conversation, Dr. Marchand quoted a Chinese proverb written by Confucius, "It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop." I have wrestled with addressing my impatience related to getting things to change more quickly for much of my adult life. This is certainly true when needed political change at the national level is gridlocked with stupidity in Washington. The birthers and the tea party have done this for the entire presidency of Obama. Many a time, I have written articles about the BS of the political right in America that is wrong. In addition, regardless of their complaint, that is not what bothers them. It is about race. My retort is to say, "Get real...and honest. What you don't like is that he is black."

Dr. Marchand commented about not worrying about getting things done overnight. He wanted to make sure that I continue the journey and not stop moving ahead to a brighter day. Both he and I have our dreams, and what our particular dreams are is not relevant. They will be different. What he or I dream about is not as important as the fact that we dream.

The next thing that Dr. Marchand said was related to the people of Myanmar working for change. While many would like to see the movement toward human rights and democracy more quickly, at least, the people are moving. For that, they should get the credit.

Dr. Marchand reminded me of what Einstein said that parallels Confucius, "Nothing happens until something moves." It is important to possess dreams of a brighter day no matter where we find ourselves. That is a given. Nonetheless, we need to move. Change will not occur in any political situation or in any one's personal life unless movement occurs toward the desired destination.

I also mentioned, that for almost as long as I have had an email account, I use Robert Kennedy's statement, "Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not." Bobby credited George Bernard Shaw in his paraphrasing from one of Shaw's plays. We need to dream dreams and respond to them.

I would suggest that you click on this audio link to listen to Horowitz play Robert Schumann's Träumerei, which means dreaming in German as you read this essay.

Bobby Kennedy did dream. Everything in his life was dreaming dreams that never were and asking America, why not? This was especially true for him when he was addressing racism. He certainly was one of the major spokespersons in the entire civil rights movement. Within that movement, being white, he had access to many white Americans and caused them to think about owning-up to the racial divide in the country. In addition, when Martin Luther King was killed, Bobby could address especially grieving blacks, because he knew what it meant to have his brother killed.

Bobby Kennedy reached out to all Americans to help them...

Robert F. Kennedy confronting racism and poverty.

Robert F. Kennedy confronting racism and poverty.

Kennedy said, "I think back to what Camus wrote about the fact that perhaps this world is a world in which children suffer, but we can lessen the number of suffering children, and if you do not do this, then who will do this? I'd like to feel that I'd done something to lessen that suffering."

Bobby Kennedy explaining dreaming against all odds.

Bobby Kennedy explaining dreaming against all odds.

In addition, he said, "Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, (and) the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world, which yields most painfully to change."

You can see and hear why Bobby was a dreamer. He had a short life, but that life was not in vain. He helped those who were without, but, of equal importance, he also helped those who had many things by helping them to dream dreams that never were and to say why not. I returned from Myanmar feeling happy for the people of Myanmar. In addition, I know that Bobby would be proud of me, because I am dreaming for the day that the people of Myanmar are free.

This is Vladimir Horowitz playing Träumerei in Moscow in 1986.

Bobby Kennedy

Bobby Kennedy

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Burma flag

Burmese independence flag

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An old man and his grandson

An Old Man and His Grandson

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Confucius Said


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Forrest Gump Film Poster

Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."

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