Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Review of the Week

Always look on the bright side of life?

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b5494 (Published 18 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5494

Land of Opportunity

Although it is called the “land of opportunity,” America is far from a paradise
for
many people. But then again, no country is perfect, and all have their faults. So
how should we evaluate and compare different countries? What standard
should
we use? I prefer the standard cited by the English lexicographer, Samuel
Johnson, who said “A decent provision for the poor is the true test of
civilisation.” Opportunity is nice, but compassion and mercy are nicer.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 December 2009
Hugh Mann
Physician
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA