If to live is to suffer, as Tolstoy understood so well, then to persevere is to find meaning in one's suffering. Does hardship make us beasts, Tolstoy asks, or better human beings? Do we continually focus on getting what we think we want, or on making something meaningful out of what we have, no matter how miniscule or shabby it might seem?
Someday, perhaps all of medicine will be reducible (like most things) to a set of algorithms and doctors will be replaced by computers. But we are still far from achieving anything approaching this level of technical omniscience and certainty. For the far foreseeable future, we need doctors who understand life and people, not just lab test readouts and scientific papers.
Thirty-two of the country's best and brightest have just been named to the inaugural class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows -- scholars (many of them emerging scholars), journalists, and authors. Their charge: to provide important new perspectives on current and future challenges to American democracy and international order.