Clinic

Clinic: (n) a hospital department where outpatients are given medical treatment

Old Marion Webster always tends to leave out a detail or two in presenting definitions.

Clinics are not only places where people go to get medical assistance, but often find themselves frequenting due to poverty.

I’ve been to a clinic. It wasn’t because I doing research for one of my essays. No–I was busted.

Broke. Without bucks. Dollarless.

I found the experience to be humiliating–not because I thought I was better than all the other clientele. It was humiliating by design.

All the furniture was old, scarred, some pieces broken. The magazines were dated at least four years earlier, and had articles which had already proven to be incorrect. The candy machine was empty except for peanuts and Cheese-it crackers. The Coke machine was out of order and the coffee maker had a crack in it, so they could only make one cup at a time.

The nurses were volunteers who attempted to be cheery, but still conveyed a sense of yearning to get over their stint quickly and return to their normal lives.

The people around me were sick–some very sick. It made them look and act dreary.

I sat there and thought to myself, how easy it would be for people of substance and finance to just donate new magazines.

How about that church down the road which recently bought new furniture for their parlor–giving that old plush couch and chairs to this clinic so people would feel just a bit more comfortable as they sat for hours, waiting for a three-minute visit?

Would it kill the vendors to make sure that the candy machine was adequately stocked, and price it just a bit more reasonably for those who have to search longer for quarters?

How about giving them a new coffee pot, or taking up a donation to make the Cokes reappear?

I wasn’t angry over the indifference–just perplexed by the ignorance.

Now that prosperity has crept my way, I have a little extra money every once in a while that might seem like a gold mine for a clinic.

Maybe just buying flowers for the attendants to wear every day. Or if you worry that the patients might be allergic, purchase more colorful scrubs.

For some reason or another, rich people do not feel it’s enough to insult the less fortunate with mere poverty. They want to make sure the experience leaves a bitter taste in their mouths.

 

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Broke

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Broke: (v) past tense of break

“If it ain’t broke…”

Almost everyone in America, down to the youngest lad or lass, could probably finish that idiom.Dictionary B

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

It’s one of those statements which was hatched decades ago–probably by a lazy husband arguing with his wife over a repair that seemed unnecessary because there were no dangling wires, frayed cords or very much chipped paint.

Truth is, we fix things all the time that aren’t “broke.”

We take precautions when we see wear and tear.

We provide general maintenance on vehicles and appliances.

And if we see a little spot on our clothing that’s beginning to pull a seam or two, we retrieve the needle and thread so as not to be caught in the middle of a social situation with an unsightly rip.

But this particular axiom about “broken and fixing” has permeated our thinking so much that we leave many things undone that could sure use some tender, loving care.

We know what’s involved in carrying on a relationship between a man and a woman, but because no one complains, we ignore kindness and consideration in favor of seeking our own will or avoiding feeling silly.

We know to say “thank you,” but we’d rather insist we already did.

We know to say “I’m sorry,” but are convinced that people would feel awkward if we offered such a trivial piece of consideration.

We certainly are aware that “I love you” makes the world go around, but are equally willing to stop the globe to keep from uttering it.

Long before something is broken, it’s damaged–and if we’re able to catch it in its weakened state, it doesn’t need to break.

If we worked on teaching about marriage and saving relationships, we wouldn’t have such a god-awful custody system in this country, dividing children up with the “sword of visitation.”

If we understood that decisions will always be greeted with unexpected results, we would never choose up teams, wearing red and blue jerseys and thinking that the coloration empowers us.

Some people would say America’s “broke.”

I would say there’s some surface scratches and dents.

But if we don’t tend to it and take care of the little blemishes, in no time at all, we could end up not being what we’re cracked up to be.

 

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