I am a huge Dr House fan. It is my favorite show of all time! “House, M.D” blends medical mysteries, great character development, and there is also the “Holmes-Watson” dynamic between Dr Gregory House and his best friend, Dr James Wilson. The show is witty, amazingly funny and clever show. My interest for the show stems from my dad being a doctor and my mom being a nurse. I have always had a keen interest in medicine, and I still do. I wanted to be a doctor when I was younger but seeing all the blood, trauma, death, and injuries doctors see regularly, I opted out. Moreover, I really do not have the discipline to be locked into the library and study 8 hours a day the way my dad used to do. So, let’s be honest, let’s be real, it was more the lack of discipline than anything else.
Yet, the show’s biggest contribution, according to my humble opinion, is the human psychology element, apparent in every episode. Dr House is, by any metric possible, a misanthrope, a bitter and unkind man, a narcissist, a borderline sociopath, and he almost lacks empathy, which is a weird flaw to have as a doctor. As he said once, “we are here to treat diseases, not patients.”
Moreover, Dr House always considers the human element in each of his cases. He always insists to not overlook the human element; who is the patient? What do they do? What do they like, hate, eat, watch? What kind of relationships do they have with their loved ones? What kind of job they do? Usually, the human element ends up being the key to cracking the medical mystery. Imagine that. I’d say that is the best definition of a paradox; a misanthrope who understands human nature better than everyone. He might have the hardest time expressing his emotions and he isn’t a fan of people, yet he understands them and their motives better than everyone . Maybe he is a misanthrope because he understands human psychology so damn well. It must be that.
I have watched every episode at least twice because I am weird like that. When I like a movie or a tv series, I cannot stop watching them and the same goes for books. I am a nerd and a geek. Scratch that! I am the king of nerds and the prince of geeks. There, I said it!
In the fourth episode of the sixth season titled “Instant Karma”, as a child is dying, Dr House says, casually, in front of the kid’s father, “People don’t get what they deserve; they just get what they get. There is nothing any of us can do about it”. Now, that is a cold sentence to utter in front of a scared and disoriented father, who is watching his 10-year-old son’s life slowly leave his young body. Dr House’s misanthropy knows no bounds.
The episode’s title is “Instant Karma” and it’s quite fitting. According to Wikipedia, “Karma refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect, often descriptively called the principle of karma, wherein intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect): good intent and good deeds contribute to good karma and happier rebirths, while bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad karma and bad rebirths”. Buddhism and Hinduism believe in the reincarnation of the soul.
So, basically, if you do good things, then good things will happen to you. And if you do bad things, then bad things will happen to you. Yet, Dr House disagrees. At least he is saying, nothing is automatic or mathematic or absolute. We want things to work out a certain way, but life is way more complicated than that for better or worse.
“People don’t get what they deserve; they just get what they get.” Now, that’s heavy and deeply philosophical. Does that mean we should stop being kind to one another or we should stop doing good deeds because there is no guarantee of good things happening to us? Some people might interpret it that way. I don’t. Being kind isn’t an action one should do expecting necessarily to get the same treatment from others. It does help when people reciprocate, that’s for damn sure but it isn’t automatic either.
Simply be good and kind to others for one reason; it feels good in your heart and it gives you peace and a sense of pride and accomplishment, for you, not others. Be good to others for no goddamn reason. Just be good because it makes you feel good, not because of Karma or because of the promise of paradise in most monotheistic religions. Being kind is the right thing to do and it gives peace to people, I have found. By the way, being bad or an asshole to others doesn’t mean bad things will happen to you necessarily; it just increases the likelihood. If you put out bad energy, most likely, bad energy will come along and fuck you up. Yet, it isn’t automatic, mathematic nor absolute.
There is something about that sentence Dr House uttered, in his usual nonchalant and uncaring way. He is almost always right and it’s quite infuriating. Furthermore, he isn’t wrong, not in an absolute way. He is right to some extent.
I had an aunt. Cancer took her at 59. She was sweet, loving, caring, and kind like no one. I had this best friend of mine. He lost his parents at a young age and he died himself before his 30th born day. Just like my aunt, he was kind, sweet, caring, and loving despite not having an easy life. I have this friend, honorable, sweet, loyal, caring and loving. He lost his kid, not long ago. Bad things happen to good people. No one can be shielded from life’s ugliness, I guess.
George W. Bush invaded Iraq, causing the death of hundreds of thousands of people. He created a refugee crisis, destroyed the economy and the nation. Yet, he is celebrated today as a painter. He is always chilling with Michele Obama and people now love him. They see him as fun, funny, kind and that’s about it. The man caused more harm than most people in modern history, but karma hasn’t gotten to him yet. Perhaps it has in a different way than we think. Perhaps karma will get to him or it won’t. Who knows?
Joseph Kony in Uganda has been killing, maiming, raping, and pillaging a whole region for more than 30 years now. He is alive and well. Pol Pot, who was responsible for creating the Khmer regime which killed around 2 million of his own citizens, died in his sleep, without ever going to prison. Some mafia bosses die in their beds. Some serial killers and rapists are never caught.
Perhaps we always look for karmic justice; whatever you did wrong to others, you will get. That’s how we think the world works or that’s how we would like it to work. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work like that. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Nothing is automatic, mathematic, or absolute.
I can’t help but think that Dr House was right yet again; “People don’t get what they deserve; they just get what they get. There is nothing any of us can do about it”. If you think about it, there is another philosophical question; who deserves what? How? Why? My aunt and best friend deserved to be alive today if you ask me. My friend’s kid should be alive. George W. Bush, Pol Pot and Joseph Kony should be in a cell too small to fit them for decades. Life doesn’t work like that. Perhaps Dr House was right.
The only thing we can do is live our lives how we see fit. Kindness to others is never wasted. At least that’s how I see the world. I do whatever good I can, whenever I can, and I move on. I put good energy out there, as much as I can, and so far, it works. Maybe I will get whatever I will get one day. It might have nothing to do with what I deserve, whatever that means. I cannot control the world anyway. I will do what I do and whatever comes, will come. At least my conscience is clear and hopefully it will be clear then.
Just one man’s opinion.
Now smile and go on with your day!