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Suzanne Gordon

  • To be alone is to be different, to be different is to be alone ...

  • Today age segregation has passed all sane limits. Not only are fifteen-year-olds isolated from seventy-year-olds but social groups divide those in high school from those in junior high, and those who are twenty from those who are twenty-five. There are middle-middle-age groups, late-middle-age groups, and old-age groups — as though people with five years between them could not possibly have anything in common.

  • We feel like strangers on our own streets. Where we should feel the safest, we rather feel that no one would help us if we were in trouble, that what happens to us, whether good or bad, makes no difference to the world around us — that we make no difference.

  • The association between failure, loneliness, and solitude is so strong in our culture that people often find it difficult to believe that there are some who like being by themselves.

  • Divorce is one of the loneliest of modern rituals. Before, during, and after the actual culmination of the legal process it is an ordeal that rips people away from their roots, their important relationships, and a part of themselves. There is really nothing like it — except perhaps war.

  • Nursing may be the oldest art, but in the contemporary world, it is also one of the most invisible. One of the most invisible arts, sciences, and certainly one of the most invisible parts of our health care system.

  • In our 'don't just sit there, do something' culture, when we get sick we are supposed to become characters in a heroic medical narrative that conceals the remorselessness of pathology, the intractable fact of human vulnerability, and the inevitable inadequacies of medicine. To many of the participants in the medical drama, aggressive treatment — even when it fails — represents a quasi-religious quest for immortality and meaning.

  • ... America must deal once and for all with an utterly irrational health care financing system that allows private interests to make billions in profits from the pain and suffering of their fellow citizens. America is the only country in the industrialized world that does not provide tax-supported universal health care coverage in some form.

Suzanne Gordon, U.S. writer

(1945)