“There is no copyright on benevolence.”

Doctor Mayor Treva Hodges of Charlestown

If I were into self-improvement, I know two things that would immediately make a difference. I need a haircut and to lose 15 pounds. I probably will get a haircut in the next couple weeks. Or not!

Every now and then I must take self-inventory and sometimes the stockroom shelves seem depleted. Wintertime combined with Covid World has taken a toll. I am looking forward to New Year’s Eve when I can make myself a couple of resolutions that I am surely not to keep. Every now and then one does stick.

I need to be a bit kinder. I am pretty good to most people in person but then I get on Facebook and discuss things like politics and religion. You know, the kinds of things that have nothing to do with right or wrong but are mostly opinion. And most people know the old saying about what part of the human anatomy opinions are like and how most of them stink!

It’s not too early to start thinking about the new year.

I just signed up for Social Security and Medicare. I know I am at the age where I should be wiser. I am not. I am at the age where I should understand a lot of things about life. I do not. I am at the age where I should not care what people think. I do.

I took a philosophy class at IUS that I am sure changed me forever. The teacher’s name was Professor Jenks. He was a quiet, humble man. I am not. Looking back, I think he was brilliant in his teaching techniques. He had one philosophy that I know struck me right to my core.

He would know how we felt about a potentially volatile issue. I think we must have filled out a questionnaire. Forty-five years after the fact some of my memories are just a bit cloudy, factually-speaking. One thing about his class is still crystal clear to me.

Professor Jenks would put a student in front of the class to debate another student. Let’s just say, for sake of example, we were talking about a subject like abortion and he knew a student was pro-choice.

We had to debate another student and debate the issue as if we were pro-life!

Anyone who has ever been in a debate with me probably knows I got an A in that class. However, I am not sure I really got the message that Professor Jenks was trying to convey. In a sense he created a Frankenstein version of a debater. I don’t blame him, as that is simply who I was and what I am when it comes to debating on any topic.

I love a good, passionate debate. And many times, I love to play devil’s advocate. Perhaps I will resolve to change that about myself. It is not always a desirable trait for someone to have. However, it is a pretty good weapon for a columnist or a Facebook poster.

I often sit and watch a comment on Facebook and know I should not put in my two cents worth. Upon occasion, I have held off for a few minutes or even for a day. Then someone will post that one comment or opinion that compels me to respond. I shouldn’t.

Doctor Mayor Treva Hodges is a friend. We were just messaging back and forth on things this past week in a sort of regular chit chat about how things were going. I had a drink and was telling her I was trying to get motivated for this week’s column. This is when she sent me a theme idea in the form of the quote.

I know Doctor Mayor Hodges (how I refer to her) had a bit of a tough week when the columnist in the Wall Street journal thought Dr. Jill Biden should not use the title Doctor because her PhD was in Education and not medicine. A quote from his column was, “Dr. Jill Biden sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic.”

Doctor Mayor Treva Hodges earned her doctorate this past year.

What a pompous opinion and again I refer to the part of the anatomy that is often used in reference to describe an opinion and how they all smell.

There is a lesson to be learned here regarding expressing one’s opinion when it is not necessary nor prudent to do so.

I won’t learn it!

Lindon Dodd is a freelance writer who can be reached at lindon.dodd@hotmail.com.

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