Since my last post I have earned my medical degree, gotten married, and completed one and a half years of my residency training.
I am not writing to talk about myself or my running. Instead I am here to communicate with people who have supported me in the past.
What is making me need to connect is how moved I am by everything which is occurring politically in my country. I know there are already too many people talking. However, I need to start talking because I want to make my country the best that it can be. This is my country where I have been able to achieve absolutely incredible things. I do not care if it is the best or the worst country in the world. It is my democracy, my republic, and it has given me so many opportunities and now I am a doctor who gets to play soccer with men, go kayaking on whitewater, run outside in a sports bra, and so much more freedom. I passionately love my country.
Now I believe in many things especially keeping my mouth shut and listening. Sometimes I speak too soon and don't hear what other people have to say. Sometimes I jump to conclusions. Sometimes we all must act even though we don't have all the information and that means we act incorrectly. That's what I love about science and medicine. We are taught that 50% of what we learn in medical school will be wrong in the future. We just don't yet know which 50%.
I still must treat my patient to the best of my ability with the information at hand and many hours of studying and learning. I want to speak out because we should treat policy the same way as we treat patients. We should know that all information is incomplete. We are acting and deciding based on a lot of assumptions and things yet to be tested. Any policy could be correct or incorrect. We have to use the information at hand and we need to shut our mouths and watch and listen for the evidence to tell us what is and isn't working.
So what are the metrics by which we can gauge how the country is doing and who gives us those metrics? That is something which is varying too much. We don't have adequate reliable, unbiased sources and we talk without listening. As a doctor we are taught to not interrupt the patient. However, people are either interrupting one another and yelling or going off on a forceful, uninterrupted diatribe. These methods of gathering and evaluating information don't lead to understanding.
I have opinions and beliefs. One of these which is very controversial is gun control. Oh, just the method of phrasing the issue is enough to raise anger. However, I was born in Washington DC at the time that it had the #1 murder rate in the country. My step-grandfather while suffering from PTSD (an army war veteran) shot himself in the middle of an argument in the garage. I am privy to a different history than people who want 100% access to guns. I am willing to listen. I don't know the best answer to ensuring a republic free from big brother where people go hunting and provide for themselves. I have read about China and Russia and I am so very happy to not be a communist nation with someone controlling me. I feel so passionately about not depriving people of freedom that I am willing to engage in conversation and hear other people speak. I want people to speak, I want people to... without condemning and attacking me... tell me what they care about and why they care about it. I have a different background than many Americans. I want to understand. I love my nation and I want people to thrive. How do we do that? That is the dialogue I wish to hear.
I like passion and I am proud to be part of a nation where people are passionate and strong like me. We can't let our passion destroy us and make us superficial enemies. Our anger is tearing us apart rather than motivating us to create a better America. Anger is a strong force, a good force, but right now it is not helping us achieve our best. If I weren't angry I would have never been as good an athlete as I have been and I would have never been motivated to achieve all I have achieved. I believe in justice and truth. It is time to work to make this country even better. This country can always be better and I think that each decade can bring more justice and less corruption than the last. I will fight for truth and goodness in my country.
I am going to put my anger to use to work to make this country better, safer, and have better opportunities for more people. We will use knowledge to improve this country. Time to make America the best it can be. Time to get to work.