I gave this book as a present on my girlfriend's birthday a couple of years back. We hope to participate in some small measure the general type of work that this doc has devoted himself to. Just think how much good simply distributing health care information does, such as the Blue Trunk Libraries. That's the sort of thing I am aiming to do. My partner has more direct skills.
"The only real nation is Humanity"
- Paul Farmer
This doc is walking the walk, aiding real people with intelligence and effectiveness, and I can forgive him any personal quirks for all the health and happiness he has brought to areas in Haiti, Peru, Russia, and other desperately poor nations. He and his co-workers are operating at the intersection of where their talents and passion meet the world's misery, showing how to cut through the bull and let people organize for their health care.
Health care workers and teachers--these people are the real heroes...(click "read more") of our time, particularly when they work with those who need help most.
They are heroes for me. Unlike the self-seeking, bullshitting Tom DeLay's of the world who trumpet their "Christianity" while sowing division and fear and their selfish “America First” agenda, people like Paul Farmer are improving lives. Unlike the over-glorified Tiger Woods' and Tom Cruise's of the world--typical celebs who make millions and fan their egos while people starve, he's working in people's lives to eliminate simple infectious diseases that take literally pennies to prevent. And unlike the adventurers who climb Everest to test their physical limits and write books and talk about their courage and endurance ad nauseum, people who work in health care, particularly in developing countries, are strong and brave everyday.
They do the often mundane work of being compassionate with all comers, no matter what they look like.
I've got nothing against wealth, but I'm very against the unbalanced wealth that our society unthinkingly condones. And the sad thing is that speaking against disparities in wealth in our society or in the world is considered suspect, even un-American. The right wing and corporate elements over-value comfort and making bucks while children waste away from dysentery and hunger.
Our country has taken a nosedive the past six years under the I find it hard to be optimistic that we will make a turnaround in the next generation before the sh*t hits the fan. Hey, but Iraq will be secure against those Islamo-facists! And at least we're winning the war on the environment!