“Life wasn’t about avoiding suffering.”
“Human relationality forms the bedrock of meaning.”
These are just a couple of quotes from a profound book by a Yale educated, Stanford University neurosurgeon who died last year after 22-months of living with a cancer diagnosis. And this is book about living. Dr. Kalanithi received a MA in English literature before attending medical school and he maintained that, “it was literature that brought me back to life during this time.” I think this is a piece of literature that would improve anyone’s bookshelf.
Our clients are often in the midst of suffering because that bedrock of meaning–relationality–feels in jeopardy. This book might speak to you.
I found application to my work in Dr. Kalanithi’s statement regarding his duty which was, “not to stave off death or return patients to their old lives, but to take into our arms a patient and family whose lives disintegrated and work until they can stand back up and face, and make sense of, their own existence.” Our clients may not face a terminal illness but often their lives feel as if they are disintegrating. We want to provide this same level of support as lawyers.
If you read it, let us know your thoughts.
Wishing you wisdom,
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