Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Advantage of the Old

I met a doctor the other day who looked like a high school freshman. 

That is no exaggeration.

My current doctor is also youthful - he looks like a college freshman - but, aside from the suspicion that people can now go directly from grade school to med school, I have no concerns about his competence or that of the "high schooler." They seem bright enough but then who am I to judge? My medical knowledge is gleaned from a few biology classes and some Reader's Digest articles. They could be using terminology from Marx Brothers films and I might not pick it up. [On second thought, I would if it came from a Marx Brothers film,]

Several years back, I had a series of doctors who retired without my permission. Selfish dogs. That's why I was pleased to snag a new one who might be around for the duration. 

Anyway, there is an interesting feature to being older: you know what it is like to be young but the young don't know what it is like to be old. I can say things and have an educated guess as to how a younger person will regard it because, back in the days of the Harding administration, I was in their shoes. They, on the other hand, don't quite know how The Gray and the Wrinkled think. It isn't a big gap but it is a gap.

There is a memorable story about a conversation between Sam Rayburn when he was Speaker of the House and Robert Kennedy when Kennedy was discussing various political appointments for his brother's administration. Kennedy commented that one person seemed old. Rayburn replied (and I paraphrase), "Son, to you everyone seems old."

I always liked Sam Rayburn.

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