Thursday, July 21, 2005

Musings on the meaning of life

Today's post to Pat's Pond are some simple links to two remarkable stories and the men involved. They got me making comparisons to my own story. (You have a story, right? Everyone does. What's yours?) Not even remotely so dramatic, but my story. So far, anyway.

I don't believe that my first major MS exacerbation, while serious indeed, could have been immediately fatal. But the change of life I experienced was certainly profound. I am constantly mindful that my neurologist, Mulki Bhat, was like a gift from heaven, who provided a role model for me when I needed a new sense of direction. The consummate gentleman, Dr. Bhat was gentle, kind and firm. Extremely well-read and open-minded, a medical demigod, whose deity was only partly obscured by his own natural humility. (Bet he would hate this paean of praise...) He seemed to easily accomplish what I wanted: to treat each and every human being encountered as the most important person in the universe at that moment. And he led me through the most difficult few years of my life so far, making me feel remarkable for my own fortitude and stamina. I want to do the same for others in my own sphere, in my own little pond.

Every now and then I remember that every person I meet is the most important person in the world. Not only to me but surely to someone else. (Rather like the old saw about how everyone has a mother.) Each person should be treated as the unique living soul he or she was created to be. The rest of my life is becoming the somewhat halting struggle to remember and implement this theory, vision, goal, or calling. Guess I don't need a perfectly healthy body for that. It seems so do-able, and the timeline is great: I have the rest of my life to work on it.

So, even if Multiple Sclerosis were to eventually kill me, it will not have taken away my life. My life is always looking and reaching outward, while searching, probing inward; I won't let it be about my body and its annoying failures. Everyone has that to some extent: it goes with the territory. It's called MS, not ME. I have plenty to do, trying not to harm others with my actions or words. That's the most important skill I can hone. Good thing I've got a lifetime.

Little Pond

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Pat, Your insights are amazing, I am so glad you are sharing them on the blog.
You have already made a difference in my little corner. I love your statement about life is about looking and reaching outward while searching inward. That goes for anyone, illness or not.
Thank you for your example of a great attitude and spirit!