The author is a famous surgeon and also penned the classic ‘The Checklist Manifesto’. I have read and inculcated few things into my operational life from that book. Maybe, I shall talk about that book a later date.
Let me begin with some questions.
Twenty years from now,
- Assume I am on my death bed and the doctors have given up on me. I have become a vegetable and you are supposed to decide that if I should continue with my life support systems. What will you do ? Will you let me run as long as possible with the life support systems or pull the plug ?
- Will you and your spouse live with your children or move separately claiming each one need their independence ?
- How will you manage by sudden chance of fate you become single ?
- What will you do if you are recognized with terminal illness ? How would you spend the rest of your life ?
Well, this is one of the books which in my view is heavy but necessary reading. It pays to be aware of changes within us, changes in our environment, changes in our lifestyle, livelihood and the possible impact that it can have in our decision making.
The author deliberates on tough questions like the above and more.
While he agrees, that not everything can have an answer, he presents a lucid case for living and leaving gracefully taking concrete examples from his own life. He also argues effectively on the need for individuals, families, societies to recognize this micro and macro happenings and articulates on how we can be better prepared to address them.
The author summarizes
“A few conclusions become clear when we understand this: that our most cruel failure in how we treat the sick and the aged is the failure to recognize that they have priorities beyond merely being safe and living longer; that the chance to shape one’s story is essential to sustaining meaning in life; that we have the opportunity to refashion our institutions, our culture, and our conversations in ways that transform the possibilities for the last chapters of everyone’s lives”
Are we prepared to see the child in our elders, as the elders saw the child in us when we were growing up ?
Will we be humble or arrogant ?
An essential and a hard hitting read. Do pick it up and give it a go. One or two of your hair strands may become white, but it is well worth it.
PS : This is not a book you will Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun) and that is the reason I am deliberately not signing off with that phrase.