It is with pride and joy I present to you the next member of Team Do Good, the mighty Joe Doenges. I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate Joe here via Tampa Bless and Team Do Good. His willingness to participate in this feature and to provide feedback is highly appreciated. And now, without further ado...
Name: Josef (Joe) Doenges
Place of birth: Houston, Texas
Currently reside: Tampa, Florida
Heritage: German > Czech > an assortment of other European lines
Family: Wife and 4 kids (college to Freshman in High School)
Alma Mater: Undergraduate: The University of Texas. Medical School - Texas Tech. 6 years active duty in the Navy. Currently in the Air Force for over 11 years.
Occupation: Dermatologist / Chief of Medical Staff at MacDill Air Force Base
Activities you organized or participate in related to helping others and uplifting humanity? I realize this is an uncomfortable question to answer because it feels self-promotional, yet it's important to share so to inspire others:
Renew Haiti - My church, Christ the King, works with St. Suzanne Parish in Haiti to improve the lives of our brothers and sisters there through numerous activities. I have been able to go to a couple of their medical/dental missions, offering medical services they would otherwise not have access to. As a Dermatologist with a surgical background, I wondered how much use I would have. I quickly learned there is a significant need for removing tumors and other types of large growths. One example I won’t forget was removing a large cyst from an upper eyelid on an older man who was previously not able to fully open that eye because of the cyst. Once the cyst was gone, he was immediately able to see out of that eye. People literally would walk for over a day just to be seen. It’s an amazing experience to go. There are many people here in the Tampa area who pour their time and effort into making a difference in the lives of our Haitian neighbors.
Another activity I have recently participated in is THORN (Thankfully Helping Others Real Needs) Ministries, who bring home-cooked meals to the homeless on Sundays. They actually get to know the homeless people and build relationships. I have started going with one of my daughters and I truly believe the folks in THORN ministries are obeying Jesus’ instructions to go and feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc… (Matthew 25:31-40).
The Tampa Bless 12
1) Favorite pastime or hobby? Why? Please explain.
Spending time with family, especially doing active things. Whether it be a walk with my wife, biking with my daughters, or Crossfit type workouts, if I am using my body and I am with my family/friends, I am usually pretty happy. Spending time with your loved ones and exercising are both very important to your overall well-being. Why not do them together?
2) Favorite sport, team, or player? If not into sports, your favorite musician or album? Or answer one of each if you’d like or any combo. Please explain why for any one or more of the questions you answered.
Hard to pick. Probably either Texas Tech football or German soccer. I love TTU and the high-octane type of offense played there is fun to watch. The German national soccer team is easy to cheer for... they almost always win. I lived in Germany for nine years and speak the language, so there is a definite connection to my ancestral roots for me.
3) Favorite movie? Why? Please explain.
Impossible to pick. It depends upon the mood I am in. Top contenders include Blazing Saddles, Elf, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Gladiator. I usually like silly comedies and Good triumphing over Evil type stories.
4) Favorite place (country, city, town, etc…) you have visited and why?
Tie between Austria and New Zealand. Both are incredibly beautiful with seemingly endless opportunities for outdoor activities and adventures. I could happily live in either country, except my wife is not a fan of the cold.
5) Last meal? You could have anything, what is it? Why? Please explain.
Osso Bucco paired with a Spanish Tempranillo wine with dessert being a second helping. A good Osso Bucco is a marvelous experience with incredible flavors coming together as a symphony of tastes performing for your tastebuds. I think I got that phrase from some cooking show that my wife watches all the time.
6) Three activities or routines you would highly recommend? Please explain your reasoning for each.
1. Develop a real faith life. There will come times when you really need it. Even better, develop a real faith life with your spouse. When you realize there is a higher power to serve and you grow in your faith together, it cannot help but strengthen your marriage.
2. Spend time with people who will help you to be a better version of yourself. Who you spend your time with influences your beliefs, your outlook, etc... Choose wisely.
3. Develop discipline. Whether it be in regards to working out, avoiding poor food choices, praying more, turning off the electronics to spend time with your family, or going to bed at a decent hour, improving your self-mastery is key to living a better life. Being in the military, discipline is a part of my daily life. My parents taught me to sacrifice to get better and achieve your goals. I took that lesson to heart and have tried to continuously improve. For us Catholics, Lent is an opportunity to work on discipline and has benefited me in giving me motivation to do things that I normally would not do on my own.
7) A) Personality trait you highly value? Why? Please explain. B) The personality trait you highly dislike? Why? Please explain.
A. Integrity / Honesty - you can count on such people. This trait is something of a prerequisite for me for spending time with someone, or hiring them, or whatever it may be.
B. Superficiality - I believe it is important to truly think deeply, consider your own life and how you affect others. If you never think beyond yourself and never consider the meaning of our existence, there is a good chance you are wasting opportunities you have to help others, to make a real difference, whether it be in your own family, neighborhood, or on a global level.
8) Favorite thinker (author, philosopher, theologian, etc…)? Why? Please explain. And what is your favorite piece of advice, quote, or text from them or in general? Why? Please explain.
Currently, either Jordan Peterson or Dennis Prager. I have been concerned about the increasing “rot” of political correctness, which has led to the point where honest discussions can be hard to have in public discourse. This is not good for society. I think both Jordan Peterson and Dennis Prager, in their own ways, shine a bright light on some of the absurdities now infecting our jobs, schools, universities, etc...
9) Biggest influence in your life or a top one, and what was it about them that really stood out?
As a Christian, I have to say Jesus. As I matured into adulthood, Christ’s teachings have forced me to evaluate how I was living my life and make changes for the better. I am happier when I am not a hypocrite. Besides Jesus, my parents and wife have been the biggest influences. They all led me to improve my faith life, helped shape my values, and loved me no matter what.
10) If there is one thing you could change in the world, what would it be?
Dramatically reduce the usage of social media across the world. While there are many positive aspects to SM, for too many it reduces real-world interactions, leads to internet divisiveness, isolation, etc... I am concerned about the long-term consequences, especially for our kids.
11) Where did your desire to help others and uplift humanity come from? Please explain.
My Faith, my upbringing. My parents taught us to show kindness to others. James 2:14 “Faith without works is empty” speaks to me directly.
12) What are you working on now and how can people get involved?
I am working on what I call the “Metabolic Project” at my job. As Chief of the Medical Staff at MacDill AFB, I have a number of responsibilities that are administrative in nature. For several years, I have had a desire to put together a non-administrative project that focuses on improving people’s health on a more foundational level by addressing the basics of how we live our lives. Genetically, we adapted over millions of years to eat what we could hunt and gather. We were active and social. We slept a lot. Things are quite different for modern man. To cut to the chase, we are trying to get people with many of the modern diseases (obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc…) to look at their health from an ancestral view and live a life that is more congruent with their genetic propensity. In other words, less donuts and packaged foods, more home-cooked, nutritionally dense meals. More movement, less sitting. The hope is to truly make a difference in people’s lives by getting back to the basics. We shall see how it goes.
Thank you so much for your time Joe and for all that you do. The place we live in is that much better because of you. I hope that this feature has served to inspire you, as well as successfully celebrate those that help others and uplift humanity.
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