Day 54

Day 54 – Total confirmed cases in US: 1,256,972

For my penultimate plague diary, I wrote a diatribe about Trump, his supporters, and the Republican Party, but decided against posting that. And I’ll tell you why…

I have been intermittently studying the philosophies of Stoicism and Taoism. They have quite an overlap for schools of thought that developed so far away from each other in space and time. To the Stoics, there are four cardinal virtues: wisdom, courage, justice, and moderation. I can honestly say I work on the first three. The fourth goes against my grain. In the immortal words of my fellow Bronxite Carolyn Leigh, I can go to extremes with impossible schemes.

lao tzu
Lao Tzu

So, even though my political rant was inspired by my feeling that our government is not acting with wisdom, courage, or justice – I decided to heed these words of Taoism’s founder Lao Tzu:

One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.

And then, I decided to investigate these:

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

So I went for a walk in the woods. And it helped. I sat on a rock by the Hudson River and listened to the lapping of the waves and the twittering of the birds in the trees. Across the river, above the palisades, is a building I have been staring at for decades, because I can also see it from my apartment. I never knew what the building was used for until today. It is a nursing school.

Sister Claire Tynan School of Nursing

Their work is a much better testament to wisdom, courage, and justice, than my angry diatribe. From their website:

Recognizing the need to serve the sick and indigent of the community, Dr. Frank McCormack and Dr. George Pitkin appealed to Mother General Agatha Brown of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace for help in finding a suitable hospital site and in providing administrative and nursing staffs. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace had been a presence in New Jersey since 1885, one year after the order was founded in England with the goal of fostering worldwide peace and justice.

The Sisters purchased the estate of the late William Walter Phelps and erected the hospital, staffing it with members of their Order. They also welcomed their first class of students to the School of Nursing only weeks before the hospital opened. When the first patient, a woman with acute appendicitis, came through the hospital doors in October 1925, Holy Name had 115 beds and less than a dozen physicians. Only five years later, a unit with 70 beds was built to meet the needs of area residents who had been impoverished by the Great Depression.


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