Article Date: 11/1/2012

LESSONS LEARNED
lessons learned

Life’s a Series of Highs and Lows

What goes up must come down, if you understand the gravity of the situation.

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JACK RUNNINGER, O.D.

Did you ever stop to think how your practice, and your entire life, for that matter, is a series of goods/bads, highs/lows and ups/downs?

One of my “ups” was the publication of my new book, Funny Female Foibles, which contains humor directed at wives, such as:

“I got a dog for my wife.”

“I sure wish I could make a trade like that.”

She got even

A “down” occurred when my wife and I were guests at an Optimist Club meeting.

“What is your reaction to the terrible jokes Jack wrote about you in his book,” the president asked her in introducing us. This perfidious woman got even for every joke I had ever told on her, by saying:

“I really don’t know. I haven’t read it.”

Then an “up”

Fortunately I had a recent “up” that helped counterbalance this experience. My kids took me to Chicago to see one Cubs’ baseball game. I had been a devout and suffering Cubs fan for lo these many moons, but had not been to Wrigley Field for some 50 years. Another “up” occurred the previous night, when we went to a Chinese restaurant.

“Rarely do great beauty and virtue dwell together as they do in you,” read my fortune cookie. My question was the same as the young lad’s who said he couldn’t understand Thermos bottles.

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“You put something hot in it, and it keeps it hot. You put something cold in it and it keeps it cold. How do it know?” In the same vein, how did the fortune cookie know how to describe me so accurately?

Undeserved credit

Sometimes you receive “up” experiences you really don’t deserve.

“The reason I’ve come to you for my eye exam is the wonderful job you did on my mother 20 years ago,” Mrs. Minnie Fication told me. “You did such a good job, that she got to where she could read without glasses.”

If this had happened to me when I was young, I probably would have felt it morally and ethically wrong to accept such undeserved praise. I undoubtedly would have bored her with a lengthy and dull explanation of how it wasn’t my skill, but instead the increasing myopia of incipient cataract that had been responsible.

But I found I had mellowed with age, and figured I had caught enough hell for things that hadn’t been my fault, that this might be God’s way of helping to even the score. So I modestly and humbly mumbled that her mother’s reading vision might possibly have improved, even without my optometric skills.

The one exception

We all have “downs” along the way. The only exception I ever heard was when the preacher in his sermon said that everyone had sinned at one time or another.

“Is there anyone here who can honestly say they’re perfect in everything they do?” he asked the congregation.

One older gentleman in the congregation stood up.

“Do you maintain that you’ve led a perfect life?” asked the preacher.

“No sir,” he replied. “I’m just standing to represent my wife’s first husband.” OM

JACK RUNNINGER, OUR CONSULTING EDITOR, LIVES IN ROME, GA. HE'S ALSO A PAST EDITOR OF OM. CONTACT HIM AT RUNNINGERJ@COMCAST.N



Optometric Management, Volume: 47 , Issue: November 2012, page(s): 20