“Because I Can”

There are two phrases or ideas that I use quite frequently. One very satirically to those that know me well enough but that could also be taken as very condescending to those that don’t know me well. The first phrase is “I’m a doctor” or “I’m a trained medical professional.”

Generally this is used to self-deprecate in a situation where I may have said something witty or smart or even both. Truth be told I don’t consider myself witty or smart. What I do is part of who I am and I know a whole lot of people much smarter than me. When I’m asked what I would do in life if I wasn’t a pediatrician, I could come up with other things I’d like to try but really, I think I’m actually good at what I do and I enjoy it.

Yeah, I wish medicine was equal to the idea of what most of us thought we were signing up for. You know, time to spend with patients, being able to educate as much as needed, great follow-up, and a medical home. Not the 10-15 minute visit with little time to educate as needed and a follow-up that is with someone in a group of a practice that might not even be the one they normally go to. Stupid soapbox, time to step off.

Anyway. This phrase must come naturally and quickly in order to be effective at its intended goal of generating humor. If said in a condescending manner then it and I failed. An example could be something as simple as someone asking a medical or non-medical question to which I could actually generate a true answer or hypothesis. If there is a double take or follow-up statement of “How’d you know that?” and if I’m quick enough I can then quickly retort, “I’m a doctor.” The other medical retort, “I’m a trained medical professional,” I’ve only started using recently and while it can be used synonymously I’m trying to ascertain if it should be or have its own time and place. Time will tell.

The second phrase is “Because I Can.” Now one may think this is a quite simple phrase/idea but I find that it is very deep and soul stretching. This is used in many more types of situations. Why donate money? Why give food out to someone homeless? Why help someone load their items into their truck? Why spend time doing whatever? Why give to my friends? “Because I Can.” You see how this works? This also applies to why a certain trip is taken or skydiving or scuba diving or anything else of that nature as well.

I see this abstractly as a symbol of power. And as such, not sarcastically, it can be used for good or evil. I think and hope that I only use it for good such as the examples above. Now there is that flip side. Why not steal that item? Why not lie this time? Why not just enjoy myself be damned the consequences to others? You can also answer these with “Because I Can.” And therein lies the moral heart of the phrase.

I stop here not because I can’t write anything else but because writing more may just rob one’s own thinking of the depth of this.

-Santa’s Fallen Angel


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