Michael J. A. Smith
Chairman, Calvary Hospital Professional Advisors Council
and Member, Calvary Fund Board
Dear Friends of Calvary,
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” (shall we say 50 years or so), I was a high school English teacher. Shakespeare was always a part of the curriculum and, naturally, some students were not keen on the Bard’s writings. It was, after all, the era of great social upheaval – from anti-war protests to general discontent with established authority. It was an iconoclastic time for state, church, and everything in between – including poor Wil Shakespeare, Bard of Avon. But his writings are alive and well today (even though some of my students protested that they were done by a ghostwriter, not Wil!…whatever…).
Shakespeare’s portfolio continues its timeless appeal. In his tragic love story, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet poses the famous question: “What’s in a name?” and follows immediately with her own rejoinder: “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Simple translation: I don’t care that Romeo has the name of Montague; he’s a sweet guy and I love him; family feud be darned!
In today’s world of mass information gathering, artificial intelligence, “Bots,” identity theft and related assaults on our privacy and individuality, “what’s in a name?” takes on a far darker connotation. Now, there is an urgency to preserve our individuality and our sense of self; an urgency to protect our very identity against the onslaught of technological depersonalization. Apropos of these troubling times, in this issue of Foresight my colleague Brian Corrigan provides a provocative article on scams and identity theft. Scary stuff; but so important to know and against which to be forearmed.
Happily far afield of this darkness, there is the light that patients and their families who come to Calvary Hospital – or have the Calvary home hospice experience – know. Calvary is a welcome oasis in a desert of impersonality that the “information age” has foisted upon us with, or without, our consent. At Calvary, the person is respected and cared for whole and entire. No one is a mere number or a statistic. Unlike the real (or fictitious) world around us, Calvary is a refuge of genuine love and respect for the individual. And each person’s name is sacred.
his is why my colleagues on the Professional Advisors Council constantly strive to spread the good word about Calvary and its mission. Thank you, as well, for all you do for Calvary.