Thomas L. Petty, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, 
University of Colorado

Chairman, National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP)

"It’s Better to Grow Children"

November 2001
Second Wind
Lomita, California

            Dear Friends:

Recently, I visited friends whom I had known since our internship year in Philadelphia.  My friend, “Hod”, an orthopedic surgeon, and his wife, Jan, invited me to stay at their house while I was visiting Jacksonville, Florida.

They have a marvelous home in a very lovely neighborhood.  Beautiful trees, shrubs, and flower beds adorn the neighborhood.  As we went to dinner, I saw neighborhood kids playing softball in their lawn at the side of their house, which was large enough for a full softball playing field.  I wondered how the lawn could withstand so many children in this attractive playground, adapted by the neighborhood kids.

The next morning, Jan said, “Did you see the kids playing softball on our lawn last night?”  “Yes, I got a glimpse of them.” I said, not expressing my curious feeling about why kids were so welcome on this lawn, which was obviously bare of grass in spots.  “It’s better to grow children than grass.”  Life’s priorities were so beautifully expressed. 

            I will be in touch next month.

Your friend,

            Thomas Petty, MD

Published: Feb 22  2002