This last weekend, we had the honor of listening to Dr. George Meyer's powerful words during his speech at Shifa's 2019 Preceptor Banquet. Thank you so much for your moving statements!
Peace be with you
Today I heard about a song popular in Chile, We Have The Right To Live in Peace!
To Have peace we have to stop teaching hate!
Why do we hate? We’ve got to be carefully taught.
Hitler murdered the Jews, Roma, and the mentally retarded. Yes there was a holocaust!
In the early 1900’s the Ku Klux Klan murdered mostly people of African/American origin. You’ve got to be carefully taught to hate
A 20 year old white man in South Carolina murdered several black people at a bible study; he wanted to start a race war.
Why did Buddhists in Myanmar, who are supposed to be peace lovers, force >800,000 Rohingya from their homes in western Myanmar? You’ve got to be carefully taught to hate
Why do the Chinese take the Uighurs, who have a strong religious faith, put them in prisons and try to change their beliefs? You’ve got to be carefully taught
Why did our President try to restrict any Muslim from immigrating to the U.S.? Why did a German man try to murder Jewish people praying in a temple? Why did an Australian slaughter Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand? And what about Jammu and Kashmir? You’ve got to be carefully taught.
Why can’t the Sunni and the Shia learn to tolerate each other’s beliefs and stop killing each other?
South Pacific, a musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, contains a song that goes as follows:
You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear
You’ve got to be taught from year to year
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear
You’ve got to be taught
To be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made
And people whose skin is a different shade
You’ve got to be taught
Before it’s too late
Before you are 6 or 7 or 8
To hate all the people your relatives hate
You’ve got to be carefully taught
The Westboro Baptist church in Kansas strongly believes it was against the bible to be gay. Their solution was to show up at funerals of US military who had been killed in combat to claim God was punishing the U.S. for allowing gay persons to have any rights. You’ve got to be carefully taught.
I recently learned that a professional caretaker who was Muslim refused to care for an Iranian woman in her own home here in the U.S. because the patient was a Christian. You’ve got to be carefully taught
My wife came to SF after nursing school to work. Her grandmother, who was from the South asked, “you did not take care of any black people did you?” “Of course I did; they were sick and needed care just like anyone else.”
At a recent UC Davis medical grand rounds a patient was discussed who refused to have a doctor care for her because he did not like the way she looked (Hijab?). We had a similar problem at an Air Force hospital where I worked in the mid 1980’s. One of our residents was a black man. His new patient tried to refuse to have him as her doctor. We explained he was her doctor ; if she did not want that to happen then she could go to a different hospital for her care. She stayed; he remained her doctor; she got great care and he changed her thinking. It takes hard work to unteach what has been carefully taught.
Recently courts have allowed certain businesses to not have to pay for BCP’s for their employees if they do not agree with birth control. Others have given permission to pharmacists to refuse to supply a medication written by a legal health care provider if they do not believe in the procedure (eg morning after pill).
The bible teaches to “love thy neighbor”, not love thy neighbor only if she is not gay or love your neighbor only if he is Christian. It teaches, “LOVE THY NEIGHBOR!”
We have to change this way of thinking. My hero is Nelson Mandela. He demonstrated love and the desire for peace in spite of the way he was treated for the majority of his life. We must teach love and tolerance. It can only be done by each of us individually. We have to recognize our biases and we have to work hard to overcome them. One by one we can make this happen. Join peaceful marches; Tell people who you are and what you believe. VOTE!!! I know how I would like people to vote but most importantly we MUST vote. If we do not vote, we allow people who disagree with us to have a larger voice.
We belong to a group called Friendship Force. We visit other people in other countries and they visit us. We stay in each other’s homes for a week at a time to learn about our differences. We learn that, in spite of our differences we can be friends with the concept if we become friends and understand each other there will be peace.
The Canadian Council of Imams has said, “We believe in peaceful coexistence, dialogue, bridge building, and cooperation among all faiths and people for the common good of humanity. Islam does not permit the killing of innocent people, regardless of their creed, ethnicity, race, or nationality. The sanctity of human life overrides the sanctity of religious laws. Islamic rulings do not – and should not – contradict natural laws. Islam is a religion that promotes peace, justice, equality, dignity, and freedom for all human beings.”
The American College of Physicians states that “All persons, without regard to where they live or work; their sex or sexual orientation; gender or gender identity; race, ethnicity, faith, or country of origin; must have equitable access to high quality medical care, and must not be discriminated against based on such characteristics. Our job in health care is to care for anyone who presents to us. We should give them the best care we can and not judge them by how they look, what they wear, or what they believe.
That is what we do in the Shifa Clinic . The students who care for our patients come from multiple backgrounds and we see patients from multiple backgrounds and we give the best care we can no matter who it is.
We give not only medical care but now dental care, podiatry care and psychiatry has been added. We also give legal aid to those that need it. We do it with the money we get from our donors. We take no money from other fundraising activities such as The annual Wine tasting and auction at UCDavis and the Serotonin Surge fundraisers for other student run clinics. This is our fundraiser!
My best memory is how all our staff, whether Christian, Muslim or other religion, gives care to all our patients regardless of their race, color, religion, country of origin, sex, or sexual orientation. They are all our patients and we are obligated by the oath we take to treat everyone equally.
As you know we have incredible leadership; where would be without Dr. Yasmeen? She is a friend of mine, a doctor to our patients, a mentor for our young students and, I suspect, surrogate mother to many of them, as well. She has high standards and teaches them to us all. She leads by example.
And we need to carefully teach everyone to be caring and non-judgmental. If we can teach this to individuals one by one, the drops of water spread and together we can make an ocean of acceptance, peace, love and respect. Yes we cam make a difference, little by little; step by step It can start with each of us!"
-Dr. George Meyers