Day 1686: First do no harm

First, I try to do no harm.

Second, it’s impossible to live a life where we do no harm. But “First do no harm” is a worthy ideal, lest we irrevocably harm each other.

Before today, I believed that “First do no harm” (“Primum non nocere” in Latin) was part of a doctor’s Hippocratic Oath. While it isn’t, it does capture the intent of the oath, and I see no harm in that.

Yesterday, the phone rang early in the morning while I was trying to do no harm in writing my daily blog.  I was afraid that the ringing would harm my boyfriend Michael by disturbing his sleep, so I rushed to grab the phone. Because our new home is still unfamiliar to me, I slightly harmed my head on my way.

I hope I do no harm by quoting this resulting dialog:

Phone caller: Hello! I’m calling from the Department of Public Health. We are doing a survey about people’s health habits. Your number has been randomly selected and I would like to ask you some questions about you and your family’s health blah blah blah

Me (interrupting): I need to tell you that in trying to answer this phone before it woke up my boyfriend I just smashed my head which is not good for my health, so I’m going to go now.

Phone caller (sounding amused): No problem.

I could have said, “No problem for YOU. What kind of public health policy is this?” but I had already harmlessly hung up.

I hope to do no harm with these photos.


First, I hope I do no harm to the walls in our new place by hanging up some pictures. Second, I hope our cats do no harm with their claws.

At 9 AM, some genius from Apple is calling me about my photo posting problems here on WordPress. Perhaps there’s a techie equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath.

Here’s the first thing that comes up on YouTube for “First do no harm. ”

Do no harm by leaving a comment and I’ll do no harm by expressing my thanks to all.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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31 thoughts on “Day 1686: First do no harm

  1. No harm done. In fact, always good for me to come ’round here Ann. ❤
    Diana xo

  2. *#@!&*%*#@!#*! Those phone calls. Hope this comment does you no harm, Ann.

  3. First do no harm, so don’t take my story too seriously. Our dog before Lily, was Lucky Lucy, well not so lucky as it turned out, I ran over her in the driveway. .. and then I had a lovely cute Cavalier called Cyndy, well we went on holidays and a dear friend of ours looked after Cyndy for us, Cyndy was fine when we got back, but our friends were minus their pet rabbit, sweet little Cyndy had eaten the rabbit. I won’t tell you about our Tobin, a lovely Kelpie dog, common to Australia as a working sheepdog. There might be children reading this article. So as a responsible owner of my pets, there’s been a lot of “harm” occur !!

  4. I’ve been reading Robert Klein’s memoir The Amorous Busboy Of Decatur Avenue and was surprised to learn his first college major was pre-med. What’s not surprising is one summer he worked as a lifeguard at a resort and saved a particularly obnoxious kid from drowning. He got a $5 tip from the kid’s father for that but says the staff would have given him $15 to let the kid drown.
    It’s hard to know sometimes how to avoid doing harm, but we can balance it by trying to do good.

  5. Good luck with the Apple genius!

    I love that window, by the way. But couldn’t figure out some photos. Is one of a thermostat? You never do harm with your blog.

    • I included photos of two paintings and the two places where we’re going to hang them, if I can get over my fear of doing harm to the pristine walls. And one of those walls has a thermostat — we’re going to position the painting above it.

      You never do harm with your loving and lucky comments, Maureen.

  6. No harm done that I can tell, certainly not to me! Harley has such kitty innocence, such a sweet boy. I hope he has made the adjustment to his life in the new house. And I too hope he and Oscar do no harm to the new house, but they’re cats, and there’s bound to be a little wear and tear. My Israeli-American friend was visiting and said regarding our new car and a little fender bender we had that first week when someone rolled into us but did no damage, that accepting imperfection of ourselves and our things is a healthy part of human life. It is so unavoidable, and we don’t purport to be as perfect as the Deity. So may you enjoy the new house in good health, and any scratches will serve as loving reminders of these sweet guys one day. ❤️😉

  7. There’s always no harm done with you! ❤

  8. Jan Woodruff

    I love the “Talk to the paw”!!!
    How’s your head?????

  9. “Run faster”, but where? Does no harm to take a look. Best of luck Apple picking!🤓

  10. I commend you on choosing “do no harm” to live by Ann. I can’t think of a pithy comment though. Diana and Louise beat me too it … without doing any harm of course 💕

  11. I agree – run faster!

  12. “Do no harm” should be an oath we all have to take.

  13. well I hope you did not do too much harm to your head – I love the lounging kitty photos that are certainly doing no harm to your chair. Hope there is no more harm in store for you this week Ann!

  14. HA! I have not been harmed in any way while reading this post. In fact, I feel a little less harmed than I was before I started reading it. Thank you.

  15. So your DoPH indulges in intrusive nuisance calls? – that’s harmful even if you don’t bash your head

  16. I appreciate how you always express gratitude for your readers.

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