Big Picture

Together for more and better

On a recent holiday, I had six teeth extracted. The insights I gathered during this process seemed relevant to current policy and election travails. My dentist’s office was closed, but he kindly came in to see me. Of course, his staff did not, since it was a holiday, but that did not worry me since I wanted my doctor’s skills, not those of his staff. After a lengthy procedure, my dentist gave me a pain prescription. Kind reader, please keep in mind – our local jurisdictions consist of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the State of Maryland. Each state has different pharmaceutical rules and laws, and political leadership.

My dentist resides in Washington, D.C.; I live in Virginia but have to drive through Maryland to get home. My daughter kindly offered to pick me up from the appointment, and as my pain was growing, we stopped at a pharmacy to purchase the medication on the way home. But with little luck. “We don’t supply this medication,” we were told. Little matter, we drove to the next pharmacy a few miles away in Maryland, where my daughter trains to be an emergency medical technician. But since the prescription was in my name, and I am a Virginian, we again obtained no medication, but growing pain from my teeth.

Onwards then to Virginia. Yet here I was informed that the pain medication was a narcotic which in Virginia needed to be personally signed by the issuing doctor who, due to the holiday, had long ago left his office. Back to the car, with surging pain, we aimed for my home pharmacy where they know me. I always admonish my daughter to drive cautiously, but now I asked her to drive as fast as possible. It took 45 minutes, but finally, the home village came into sight. About one kilometer before the town, we heard a horn behind us and saw a blue emergency light. It was a visiting state trooper who stopped us for driving at an excessive speed. I started to explain, but his gestures made me quickly recall the saying of ‘tell it to the judge’. Besides, I just wanted to get to the pharmacy.

The trooper was quite meticulous, but 40 minutes later, we were on the road again. At the pharmacy, we were immediately recognized and the prescription was, of course, filled right away. Apparently, word had gotten around regarding my earlier visits to other pharmacies since the pharmacist told me in confidence that ‘next time, just come here directly.’ The pills worked, and I thanked my daughter for her help, also promising to pay for all her expenses. In the end, the bills for speeding, lawyers, court cost, regular fees, speed measurement all added up to more than $ 1,300.

All this is truly not earth-shattering but of major impact nonetheless. Lack of collaboration may start out by discomforting life, but given time and repetition, can lead to growing social gaps. America has, for more than one and a half centuries, principally drawn strength and a good life through success from its cohesiveness. Nevertheless, there have been shortcomings, apathies and neglect which require repair.

We must recognize and adjust our lives to cope with the growing complexity of the world today. Breaking up links and relationships is a bad idea. We continue to have an unsurpassed capacity for communication and analysis. We can find ways that allow for curative marketing or restitution for past or current wrongdoings. There clearly is room for improvement, be it for pain pills, jurisdiction, or treatment of people. Let’s take steps for the pursuit of happiness, which supports us all.– the Declaration of Independence has made a promise, but we as individuals need to deliver on it.


Written by Michael Czinkota.

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Prof. Dr. Michael R. Czinkota
Prof. Michael R. Czinkota is an associate professor of marketing and international business in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He is also the chaired professor emeritus for internationam marketing at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Czinkota is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the United States Department of Commerce (1987-1989) and a former head of U.S. delegation for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Industry Committee in Paris (1987-1989). From 1986-1987, he was a Senior Advisor for Export Controls in the U.S. Department of Commerce.


Prof. Dr. Michael R. Czinkota is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn. For more information, visit the author’s website.