I am a firm believer in the concept that no one "gets there" alone. I know that I have had a lot of help along the way, and I strive to help others as they go through life too. I know what it's like to be alone, to struggle and to be the victim of an injustice or cruel act.
These lessons aren't part of any class curriculum. They are taught between the lines -- picked up through pain and need and faulty action. They are unwavering truths of life we often forget but more often dismiss.
I've seen the blight and hopelessness. But I've also met people there who are working with the poor -- and in the process creating miracles. This makes me wonder what qualities they have that the rest of us lack.
Healing from self-blame for wrong done to you is possible, especially through a compassionate connection. I have hardly ever seen this demonstrated as well as in the film Good Will Hunting, starring Robin Williams and Matt Damon.
Thirty days I spent with them. Thirty days walking, talking, buying them lunch and trying to discover the organizing principal around which my story would authentically take shape. And I did. Find it, that is. The moment I met Fred.
In medicine, our goal is health, to make everything better. But sometimes we can't. Driving home from Mr. Johnson's funeral, I remembered our last conversation. What had he really wanted me to know? What could I learn as my lesson from his life?