June 16, 2021 8:20:05 am
Writer and public health researcher Atul Gawande gave an impassioned speech at Stanford University this year. “This past pandemic year blew up everyone’s lives. So many suffered. The Coronavirus has taken millions of lives from our planet and made tens of millions more so sick they needed hospitalisation to keep breathing. Those with the least wealth and opportunity, the least ability to retreat behind screens, suffered most. But no one escaped loss of some kind,” the surgeon said.
Imparting wisdom to the students, he said, “All of us are seeking how to express our worth. And everyone does have worth, equally, with everyone else as a human being. We do just by being here in the world. To discover how to express that worth, you just have to keep saying yes until you’ve found it. And if you do that, you will find it.”
“But the better choices are not often the easiest or most enjoyable ones. The most meaningful goals are usually slow to achieve. They are also usually the ones that bind people together rather than push them apart, that feed their purposes. For it turns out that the beautiful secret of how our species is made is that we are often most energised when we help others express their worth,” he added.
He concluded the speech by saying, “That truth is easy to miss behind our screens and watching the news. But it is the reason why all of us gathered here hold such confidence in you. And it is why we believe you and your entire generation are the reason our better angels will prevail.”