Top search choices
9. Optic Nerve
Lion Larry Leguire
"Get your Olympic size bologna sandwiches; fat free and calorie! Get your ice water – so cold it will freeze your lips", I exclaimed.
"Prove it"! Shouted the little Boy Scout who was selling refreshments in the next booth.
"Prove what"? I retorted as we both sold refreshments at the annual Arts-in-the-Alley festival in Grove City Ohio.
"Prove that water is so cold it will freeze your lips".
"Get away from me kid; you’re bugging me", I said in a joking fashion. But the little Boy Scout persevered. So I drank some of the ice cold water and, sure enough, my lips wouldn’t budge and I could only let-out a muffled voice…mm, mmm…See! It froze my lips together, I said (after they thawed-out). The Boy Scout still didn’t believe me and, you know, he had good reason.
I had fun that day, working our LIONS booth at Arts-in-the-Alley. The proceeds were to benefit Pilot Dogs - one of the many worthy causes us LIONS members support throughout Ohio, indeed, throughout the World.
The story about the suspicious little Boy Scout actually plays-out over and over again not only in daily life but in Science, in particular. Scientists, of whom I am one, are a suspicious lot – questioning everything that crosses our desk or, perhaps more appropriately, that crosses our skeptical minds. For that is one undeniable characteristic of being a Scientist, is to search for the truth. But it may not be as easy as answering that little Boy Scout’s question, even if my answer wasn’t 100% truthful.
He knew I was joking and he knew that I knew that cold water can’t freeze your lips together. But sometimes the answer isn’t so obvious. Sometimes years and perhaps decades may go by in which people believe something, until it is proven wrong - Like ulcers being cause by stress and hot, spicy food (they're actually caused by bacteria, as the 2005 Nobel Laureates in Medicine discovered over 20 years ago).
It isn’t easy to go against common sense or to go against popular opinion when you’re trying to prove what is true or at least what you firmly believe is true. It isn’t easy to do what others say can’t be done. It isn’t easy being in the minority. I guess scientists must be, in a way, masochistic. If you have low self-esteem or aren’t sure of yourself, you shouldn’t be a scientist. If you care a great deal about what others say about you, and the "others" may even be your fellow scientists sometimes, you shouldn’t go into science. But in the end, whether your right or wrong, you have to believe in yourself. You have to believe in what you’re doing and what you believe is the truth. And sometimes, if you’re proven wrong, you can rest with the knowledge that you gave it your best.
I guess being a scientist is in many ways like being a LIONS member. It isn’t always easy to do what you know is the right thing. Wouldn’t it be easier to sleep-in until 9am rather than getting up at 5am to go sell those pancakes at a fundraiser for blinding eye disease? Wouldn’t it be easier to sit in front of the TV on a Wednesday night rather than drive across town to the LIONS meeting? Wouldn’t it be easier to go with the crowd and not volunteer your time, money and efforts for a worthy cause? But we, as LIONS members, know what is right. That’s why we get up at 5am and that is why we stand in the rain to solicit donations from strangers. We know it is the right thing to do.
Do the right thing and be sure your LIONS club donates to the Ohio LIONS Eye Research Foundation - Not because it is easy but because it is the right thing to do.
2008 OLERF Annual Report (PDF file)