chapter  Chapter 12
5 Pages

You Don’t Know All the Bad Things I’ve Done

WithDavid B. Resnik

Prejudices take many forms. The most obvious and destructive ones are those that we have laws against—i.e., prejudice based on race, religion, gender, or ethnicity. One of the author's hospice patients was a victim of prejudice against Northerners. The author's visits with the patient provided him with some companionship. They talked about his life in upstate New York, the long winters, his family, and his work. They talked about his religious faith and contemporary moral issues. He talked openly about dying and admitted that he was afraid. He told the author "You don’t know all of the bad things that I’ve done. I haven’t been nice to people. I’m not a nice person." After many visits, the author learnt one day that the patient had died. Of all the patients that the author had known, he seemed the most fearful of death and dying. Even though he was a religious man, he had doubts, regrets, and misgivings.