September 20, 2013

A Man

I did not know how to be a young man.  I'm not really ashamed of that, no one knows, we all fake it, taking some advice, ignoring that which we find silly or inconvenient (defer gratification?  as if!).

We all know how to be middle-aged men, as professional demands, biology, and life's other realities sap our determination to deceive ourselves.  Generally, I suppose, we see things roughly as they are because it's too much goddam effort to do otherwise.

And I no longer have any sense that the right answer has to come out of my own head.  In fact, I am fully prepared to steal successful approaches lock, stock, and barrel.  Hence a heightened alertness for admirable people, people whose approach is worth emulating in some way.

My first nominee here - well, after Viggo Mortensen of course - would be Harold Pollack.  Here is his abbreviated bio from Huffington Post:
Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration, and Faculty Chair of the Center for Health Administration Studies at the University of Chicago. He has published widely at the interface between poverty policy and public health. His recent research concerns HIV and hepatitis prevention efforts for injection drug users, drug abuse and dependence among welfare recipients and pregnant women, infant mortality prevention, and child health. His research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Public Health, Health Services Research, Pediatrics, and Social Service Review. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare," was selected for The Best American Medical Writing, 2009.

This guy makes Albert Schweitzer look like Donald Trump.  But wait, there's more.  He knows everything.  Everything.

Someone asked him for investment advice.  He gave it to them on an index card, and it's spot-on and bulletproof.

Ezra Klein asks him what to listen to, and Pollack tells him:

You can follow him @haroldpollack, and you should.


Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

Here's a piece of wisdom that came upon me in middle age:

I cannot possess all of the virtues I admire.

September 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM  

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