A Potpourri of Letters

“Monday Musings” for Monday March 4, 2013

Volume III. No. 113


Potpourri of letters to various publications and to my family

By Assad Meymandi, MD PhD, DLFAPA*

 Correct Use of Words

To The Editor:

I was delighted to see the correct use of the word toleration in the headline of the article “Waco’s Assault on Religious Toleration”, WSJ, Friday February 22, 2013. Alas, the writer did not carry the promise of using the exact word throughout the essay. He repeatedly used the incorrect word of tolerance. Petrarch (1304-1374), a devoted fan of Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430), corrected Plutarch’s (42-120 AD) conception of tolerance which may connote “Patronizing” and “hubris” to toleration which is imbued with love and peerage. Petrarch carried a pocket edition of Augustine’s Confessions and a Bible with him always prepared to make the point. Later, folks like Montesquieu, Moliere, Rabelais and especially Voltaire worked on toleration. Today, many contemporary New Testament authorities agree that the essence of Christian love is respectful toleration and not condescending tolerance.


Wake County School Board

To The Editor:

From the conduct of some members of Wake County School Board in recent years, it might be useful to establish a psychiatric screening for future candidates.


Recent Elections

To The Editor:

One small step inaugurating Obama, a giant leap socializing our beloved Republic.


Dix Park in Raleigh but for all NC

Dear Family,

This Valentine’s Day, In honor of all the women in my life, starting with my late mother who lived to be 101, my two late sisters, Saltanat, and Shokat, my honored and honorable daughter, Dr. Sheba Meymandi, my late beloved wife, Patricia Meymandi, and my best friend, Emily Meymandi, to whom I have been married more than 22 years, as well as other women who have entered my life, namely, my two daughters-in-law, Jessica and Kimberly, and last but not least, my only granddaughter Maggie Meymandi, I am donating one million dollars toward developing Dix Park. My three sons, Chris, Eric and Spencer were born when the family lived on the Dix property and I was training to be a psychiatrist. There is a majestic black walnut tree the sprouting acorn of which was stuck in the ground by the late Pat Meymandi only hours before son Eric was born. On special occasions the family visits the 48 years old “Eric tree” with joy and pride.

Dix Park, a 303 acre parcel of prime land, will be a destination park. It will help Raleigh to be transformed into a city like the late fifteenth century Florence where the arts, music, poetry and dance flourish- a place where brisk intellectual conversation and children’s laughter fill the air of its vast parks, where fountains flow with life and energy and where academia and business meet their maximum potential. I am humbled by the opportunity to contribute to achieving that goal.

Love and Joy to All.

Dad to some, AM to others

Expanding Repertoire of North Carolina Symphony

On a trip to France, on a Saturday afternoon we went to the Paris School of Beaux Arts where they played music of Giovanni Battista Sammartini (?1700-1775), Jan Vaclav Antonio Stamitz (1919-1757), and Olivier Messiaen’s (1908-1992) Turangalila. A delicious feast of music one does not usually hear in US. I hope we can play some of the repertoire of these fine composers in the future.

Vermeer Touring America

Johannes Vermeer lived only 43 years (1632-1675) and produced only sixty known paintings of which we have a record of 33.  The others may be in some attics or basements throughout the world. Who knows?…  Two of those precious paintings are traveling in America: The Girl with Pearl Earring at de Young Museum in SF, and Woman in Blue, Reading at J Paul Getty.  The tour will end March 31. I am thinking seriously to arrange for care for Emily and fly out there on a pilgrimage to view those two wonderful pieces. We (America) have three Vermeer in the lobby of Frick Gallery in NY which I visit regularly. There is another Vermeer at Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY. There was a third at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston which was stolen some 15 years ago and has not been recovered.  Vermeer used a lot of Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan in his blues. These two paintings are prime examples of his use of Afghan Lapis Lazuli.

Reflection on Sequestration

Salute to all the lawmakers (members of US House, US Senate, and the state legislators) who are steadfastly carrying out their promise of “cut spending”. We have enough buttoned down three piece suit briefcase carrying Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of sealing envelops in the huge incomprehensible jungle of bureaucracy and entitlement czars parasitically leaching off the anemic resources of our beloved nation. We need to get our nation’s budget repaired, and bring the federal government’s spending spree under control.



*The writer is Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill, Distinguished Life fellow American Psychiatric Association, and Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief, Wake County Physician Magazine (1995-2012).


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