Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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Internet Ronin

As a more or less unscathed person, you can hardly blame those who fail to suffer nobly, as you have no idea how you yourself would react (and even the noble no doubt have their bad days).

As one scathed about 19 years ago, I can't iamgine blaming anyone who fails to "suffer nobly."

If you're honest, you can understand those who indulge in "whining, rage, meanness, and demanding behaviors" more easily than those who keep on mustering generosity, compassion, and humor in spite of their fear and pain. You can only admire them and hope you'd do as well if -- when -- it's you.

I do. I do.

Kevin Fleming

"You can only admire them..."

How true. I often deal with patients who have chronic pain of one kind or another. This sort of suffering remains largely without definitive answers, so MDs tend to lump them into the "teched in the haid" camp, which is of no help at all.

I like Bill Stuntz' approach. He's a Harvard law professor with chronic pain. His article Cheap Hope is about equanimity and grace in the face of such adversity, and provided a valuable lesson for me.

Managing suffering is a key task in adult life. Some get far more of their fair share of it than others. I knew a surgeon who continued to practice despite horrific pain from cancer.

From CBS news' Rome Hartman, the longtime "60 Minutes" producer:
Who is the most fascinating person you’ve covered ...?

Dr. Thoralf Sundt was the most inspiring and interesting character. A brain surgeon at the Mayo Clinic, he was the first person Lesley and I ever profiled for 60 Minutes. He was one of the world’s best at repairing aneur[y]sms in the brain … he would perform operations that other neurosurgeons wouldn’t touch. At the time we did our story, he was dying of multiple myeloma, a disease he’d been battling for more than five years. His bones were so brittle that he could break a rib when he coughed, and he wore a rigid torso brace. But his hands were still solid – his gift intact - and he saved lives almost up to the moment he lost his own. To meet a guy who had such a powerful sense of what God put him on this earth to do was really fascinating."

I remember him walking the halls seeing patients in the last few years, as if nothing was different. Inspiring and humbling.


Great links, Kevin, thank you.


I agree completely. The thing that bothers me about the discussion is that (and I say this as a completely unserious person who always makes silly jokes) it seems that more and more the desired behavior is for the suffering person to make a lot of jokes and be light about it, kinda a la patch adams, as opposed to just carrying on with grace. i don't know, the humor in that situation just bothers me, because it's as if the burden is shifted to entertaining the non-ill bystanders, to keep them from getting too uncomfortable, instead of just letting the sick person get on with their life as best they can.

Kevin Fleming

Only Patch Adams could make suffering insufferable.

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