I’ll take compliments wherever I can get them.




I made friends recently with a New York woman born and raised overseas — and thus intimately familiar with more than one culture and language — who showed an interest in my writing.

I hardly ever seem to not mention my blog to a new acquaintance. People say they would be interested in reading it. Few do. They rarely get back to me. I try to think of posts that might appeal to their interests, worldview, or tastes. It usually doesn’t matter.





The following, for example, is an email of mine dated December 5, 2018:



Dear Dr. _______,


I had an appointment with you this morning. I appreciate deeply having received treatment from you over the past weeks.

At the end of the appointment, you asked me about my writings.

It occurred to me that there is a recent essay of mine that might interest you. It is also possible that it will not.

It is a long essay of around 40 pages which I posted to my blog last June. It has gotten very few readers. I doubt that many readers found my points to be persuasive, and I suspect that many readers found my essay too long and tedious to read.

Nevertheless, I feel it is a very good and well written essay worth reading. I did a lot of work on it.

It essentially presents a contrarian view or perspective on modern medical practices. I have drawn upon my own experiences working briefly in hospitals as an aide when I was a young man, my own personal observations about health, and current books which question modern medical practices.

Most extensively, I have drawn on nineteenth century writings by medical practitioners, namely, nurses and volunteers who worked in hospitals during the Civil War. Using them, I have tried to make the point that much modern medicine ignores common sense and insights gained from actual experience with patients.

I would be pleased if you read my blog. If it is not of interest to you, or you do not have time to read it, my feelings will not be hurt.

The post:


“on caring for sick people (and why the health care system often fails them) … plus, what I have learned about same from experience and reading; and from Walt Whitman, Florence Nightingale, and the heroic nurses of the Civil War”


is at




The doctor didn’t reply. My feelings weren’t hurt, and his not replying didn’t surprise me.






Nevertheless, it’s awfully nice to get an email such as I received last week from my new acquaintance, Ewa (mentioned above):


Roger, great to hear from you!

I’ve read the first three of your suggested posts today. … Your second and third post got me so inspired that I just had to start writing! It’s simplicity, light weight, and grace is very much appreciated and turns reader’s thinking into positive storytelling inner dialog! So I’ll get back to my writing now. …”





“Simplicity, light weight, and grace.” Very nice (and thoughtful) words, indeed. You know what? I think she’s right. But it often takes an appreciative audience to make one appreciate one’s own strengths or see them more clearly, and her feedback was beautifully expressed. I do strive for these things — strive to achieve this — in writing, but perhaps I don’t realize it, had not quite articulated it. She made me see it.

Lest one think that I am full of myself, I make it a point to show appreciation for the writings of others when I feel moved by their writing to do so, and it’s duly appreciated.



— Roger W. Smith

   January 2019

2 thoughts on “I’ll take compliments wherever I can get them.

  1. organiststeve

    Yes, the medical suggestions do sound like common sense, but there are some in the medical field who don’t get it. I came across a short essay by Glenn Beck (yes, THAT Glenn Beck), who related a horrible experience his daughter experienced after giving birth at the highly regarded Baylor medical school hospital. I’d be surprised if the nurse involved were still employed there — she had no idea that the story would be picked up internationally and that Beck would talk with the CEO of the hospital. The problem was all related to the nurse’s attitude. Then I thought a little more about the number of pastors who lack common sense, inc. the ability to listen, to give the kind of care needed, to be there as reassuring figures. No wonder “the church” is in decline!

    Best from Steve

    On Wed, Jan 23, 2019 at 3:53 PM Roger’s Gleanings wrote:

    > Roger W. Smith posted: ” I made friends recently with a New York > woman born and raised overseas — and thus intimately familiar with more > than one culture and language — who showed an interest in my writing. I > hardly ever seem to not mention my blog to a” >

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