Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The unexamined life is not worth living/Lessons

The unexamined life is not worth living -Socrates

Swimming has gone out to sea (meaning back to Detroit) for the weekend for a dear friend's wedding (Congrats S&Y!) and has returned with an airplane anecdote. This weekend proved to be highly productive, but has also curtailed my sleep a little. Swimming is excited and ready to start grad school in a few weeks (albeit in Cleveland), however,  I'll always have a little Boston edge in me.

On my way to detroit I had the luxury of sitting next to a priest. I took this opportunity to get back on religion's good side by choosing to strike up a conversation with him (I had formerly upset the Reverend that runs my front desk by accidentally not attending his dance recital/sermon last year and going to brunch with a friend instead--shame on me.) Anyway, I used the opportunity to learn about religion and ask him questions on the coexistence of philosophical thought and religious beliefs (we both agree that the two in fact complement each other and this priest had studied Philosophy in Rome--how lucky!) I was so enthralled with my priest's discussion that I took a risk and opted not to read the flight safety card this time. I usually always read the safety card since I'd like to be prepared and lead people to safety should something bad happen, however, I figured the priest would help us out in this case so I figured I'd just ride on his cassock this time. Anyway, I came out of this experience with a some solid lessons and a better understanding of certain aspects of religion.

(1) The unexamined life is not worth living. Probably one of the most famous Socratic quotes, but very relevant. As I cultivate my scientific thought, I have gained a deeper understanding about the idea that much of life is about asking questions and inquiring about the truth. Let's all be seekers of the truth.

(2) Being in the world is an opportunity in its own right. For some perspective, I feel lucky to go places and do things and I don't think I take that for granted. In fact, I take advantage of the fact that I can meet and learn about people from all walks of life and feel privileged to one day be a physician and have the opportunity every day.

(3) (Unrelated) but standing in an attack position seems to be effective at asserting power, confidence, and respect for Swimming's elder sister in a male dominated field. Methinks it's time to try that.

(4) Make the time to do what is most important to you and your future. -Swimming's former boss Dave (thanks! I need the extra motivation!)

(5) Find out who other people really are and how/what they think by asking questions.

With that, I leave you with the end to my story: I exchanged emails with the priest and parted ways and had a fabulous time at the wedding this weekend. To my surprise, I received an email from the priest saying the following:

Dear Swimming (name changed on purpose),

I think it was providential that we met yesterday - a dad wanted to switch seats with me, so I ended up beside you. I hope I didn't confuse or bore you...

Here is my email if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your example of openness and thirst for the truth - God will bless you and already has!

Have a great Sunday!

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