Been to the eye doctor lately? What about amateur freelancers who come up to you and stick their finger in your eye because they think you have a problem and think they can fix it? Dear Self-Appointed Eye Doctor: Common sense should tell you that if you want to make a person ‘see’ something, poking them in the eye is entirely counter-productive. The more you protest that you only want to help get that splinter out, the more the other person’s abused eye will swell shut. Persistent poking from a self-appointed eye doctor will only result in the patient at long last crying “CUT THAT OUT!” Many a patient will, patiently, allow you to ‘practice’ upon them, even if that is something to which you have no entitlement, and often demonstrably have a considerable deficiency of expertise in. But it is time somebody told you in the clearest of terms: you need to cut that out. Perhaps you declare that you have reason to be concerned for these patient patients. Well, let’s relieve your mind: most of them have no particular need of a self-appointed eye doctor. Most people already have a number of ‘physician-consultants’ who have earned the right to practice upon them by long acquaintance—and by waiting for them to –ask- for advice. Such trusted and supportive people are usually quite able to deal with the patient’s ‘case’ without any kibbitzing from outsiders like yourself. Everyone has at least an occasional splinter in their eye, but more often than not these will work their own way out if left alone. If they do not, and the patient’s long-time, trusted, experienced physicians find the surgery too delicate or complex even for them, most of us can toddle along on our journeys anyway, splinters still in place, without tripping up too terribly badly. That is why, in the parable, the Lord does not bother to address the splinter in the criticized person’s eye, but reserves His censure for the seriously vision-impaired busybody who sticks his finger in other people’s eyes. It is time for you to examine the beam in your own eye. If you do not cease your unlicensed practice, your ‘patients’ may become impatient; and you may discover that suddenly they too have become self-appointed eye doctors, poking their fingers in –your- eye. A very iffy situation, as the damage you have done to their eyes would be sure to impair their vision to work on –your- case. As Professor Kirke said to the Pevensies in the Narnia books, We might all try minding our own business. The first principle for any would-be physician is, after all, Do no harm.