I just finished reading Paul Kalanithi’s ‘When Breath Becomes Air’. This autobiography chronicles the passage of a 35 year-old brilliant neurosurgeon from Stanford who transcends purposefully through debilitating cancer to death in less than two years. The book was started after the discovery of his pending death.
He recalled with eloquence and earned insights the interests and life discoveries of his youth, his moving through medical school, and residency to moving from disappointment and despair to purposeful marching toward certain early death through living with purpose. Kalanithi asked himself, “At these critical junctures, the question is not simply to live or die but what kind of life is worth living?”
His story moved me greatly. His gifts were extraordinary – his personal brilliance and his contributions to save and comfort others – his published book continues to do both.
I am struck by my need/desire to live a life that serves my yearning to understand, to fulfill a (my) destiny and to effectively deliver a message promoting personal growth, responsibility, and contribution. I am fully aware that this starts and finishes with me demonstrating all. More writing – more discipline – more capturing of insights – probing and expanding them wisely to yield practical guidance and application. This feels like a sacred honor and privilege. I will energize myself with the fuel of appreciation for the possibility of learning more, being more, giving more. “When I can’t. I will!”