I ate some cheese cake last night. If I have only read about others experiences about cheesecake, how can I know what it is like to eat cheesecake. Each time I eat it would be a new experience; depending on how hungry, the type of cheesecake, who baked it, what occasion, etc. Not having eaten cheesecake ever is also an experience.
So it is also in the case of life and death; being somewhat “healthy”, I think most of my perspective is on living and very little on dying. Each day I live, I gain perspectives on life and little to no perspective on death. I think it is so as I often find myself planning and fretting about a future which I know not would ever happen. As a result of such preoccupation with the future, I am often asleep to my moment to moment experience.
I am grateful to be a physician; I know now that each time my patients comes to me for help and authentically share their sufferings; I am gifted with the opportunity to gain new perspectives on what it is like to lose bodily function or bits of life which I take for granted. To receive this gift, all I need to be is curious, in the moment and compassionate.
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