Two scores and seven years ago, I set foot on American soil
in order to pursue my Postgraduate medical training at New York
University Medical Center—Bellevue Hospital, New York City,
New York. Now, looking back upon the vast time-span of the five
decades gone by, I can hardly believe that our national landscape has
undergone a sea change. According to an old Oriental adage, “Even
Mother Nature changes in a decade’s time,” thus the inevitable
changes have turned at least five times over beyond recognition.
America as we know it today is a drastically different country
from what we observed back in the 60’s: many a thing that was
acceptable back then is no longer even permissible, or downright
illegal. Indeed, it goes without saying that the last half a century has
been both tumultuous and cataclysmal in U.S. history.
I have lived in Springfield, IL for 38 years since 1974 in a
professional move from Honolulu, Hawaii and I became a U.S.
citizen in 1976 when we celebrated the Bicentennial. I am still very
grateful to my adopted country for what she has done for me and
my family. My two children were born, raised and educated in this
blessed nation. Nothing gives me more pleasure and happiness than
to see them vigorously strive for their own professional careers.
As we live in a diverse, pluralistic society, aptly called “melting
pot” or “tossed salad,” I, myself, am always determined to be an
active Player in the Great American Game of Life rather than being
an idle or passive spectator. For nearly quarter a century, whatever
social issues or subjects might come along to grab my attention, I
haven’t hesitated to express my personal or professional opinion or
viewpoint by writing to the Editor of newspapers, local and national,
magazines, periodicals as well as professional journals. My letters
and communications number altogether a little over 120. Now, I
call them collectively, “JUST MY TWO CENTS.” Most of them
were published in the respective media, and my reader’s responses,
whether favorable or critical, are also included. If indicated, some
references are provided for further elucidation.
I am well aware that my voice is feeble or hardly audible like
a “voice in the wilderness.” Yet, I believe that I leave behind my
footprints on the Prairie that I have traversed thus far.
This book would not have come into existence without the loving
and faithful support of my beloved wife, Young, who is always the
source of my strength. My special thanks go to Aimie Trussell and
Ms. Sara Barger who shared unselfishly their precious time with
me in the preparation of the manuscript. I will always be grateful to
them for their generous help.
February 20, 2012
Chansoo Kim, M.D.