Remember the line from Conan? I don’t think my quote is exact, but it was something like this: ‘Conan, what is good in life?’ ‘To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, to hear the lamentation of their women…’ OK, Conan may not be the best role model. But it was a very memorable line!
What is good in life? Tough question, with lots of answers. But I know one good thing. The relationship I have with my wife and children. I enjoy medicine, but it’s just what supports my family. They are my true calling, as I said in the intro to my book ‘Cats Don’t Hike’.
I was reading to them tonight, listening to my daughter, so proud of her reading ability, reading ‘Ten Apples Up on Top.’ I was reading ‘The White Stag’ to the boys, which is the story of Attila and the Huns. We laughed and talked, after I had helped them get ready for bed. These are the best times. These are the reasons to be.
A while back, one of my boys said, ‘I want to be a scientist. But I don’t want to work too much because I want to stay home with my kids.’ I was so proud.
That is what’s good in life. Connection and love. Nothing in medicine trumps it. And it’s good to remember, we practice not because medicine is an end in itself, but so that other families and individuals can go on living well and long, and enjoying their own connections, their own laughter and their own bedtime stories.