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Being Mortal: My takeaways

Tags: book death doctor
Before I begin with my Book review, I would like to tell all my readers that this is my personal view on the book and I would request everyone to read it and see that what you gain from this book. Feel free to share your learning in the comments section of this blog.

Being Mortal : Atul Gawande

I still remember that time when I picked up this book.

I (against my habit) reached much before the boarding time for my flight. Just casually went to a book store and was looking at all those books kept there. Out of all the books, my eyes glued to a book; on the white cover page, written in black "Being Mortal: Atul Gawande".




As I read this name again and again, my mind jumped back in time when I saw him on a television show. It was an interview conducted by a famous business channel of India. I remember how he described this book and how it generated a curiosity within to read this book.

Without waiting much, I picked up this book and went to the payment counter. After paying for this book, I got another reason for my flight to take off soon (the first reason was of course that I was not used to this experience of waiting for my flight).

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"I see it now - this world is swiftly passing................."

With this, I started my journey which changed my perception towards one of the gray areas of life: Death.

Death is considered to be that spot of life which everyone fear to reach but no one can do anything about it. We can use old age creams to stop signs of ageing, eat healthy to maintain our body shape and burn some amount of toxins everyday in a park to keep muscles strong. All these steps, from natural to man made, can definitely push signs of ageing a bit in future but nothing can get you out of inevitable circle of life.

When I think hard, I feel that our fear comes from the fact that we know very little about this entire episode of experiencing dying. And icing on the cake is that we know nothing about what happens after our death. There are lots of hypothesis around this but nothing is proved (and the status might not change in the foreseeable future).

Just to explain, if you see a roller coaster in front of you, it is much easier to decide whether you really want to take that ride or not as you know what exactly you are getting into. But just think that if you don't know how that roller coaster looks like, how long and how topsy-turvy your ride can be; you might not be able to estimate whether you can really take that adventure or not.

Now top this up with the fact that no matter what, you can't even avoid this ride.



Now you get to know that there is a person who definitely knows about this ride more than you (which in nothing). He has witnessed people taking this ride and is even aware that how you might be able to avoid this ride for a bit longer and enjoy your stay at this wonderland. Because you know that you can't go back from the adventure park without taking this ride, you will look up to that person to guide you and to help you in every possible way.

You meet that person, done with all the greetings and after listening to you he agrees to help you out of this situation. But he asks for some money for his service so that even he can enjoy the wonderland.

Because he is the only one you know, who can save you from that ride, you get too much dependent on him. This fear of experiencing unknown makes you believe that he can save you from that ride, and not just delay this ride for you.

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We usually associate a doctor as someone who can save lives. A common man even goes to an extend to call a doctor as God. It is because he believes that doctor has got the power to save someone from death and give him a new life.

At desperate moments, we fail to understand that a doctor is not equivalent to the God but he is also a human being, like us. He is aware of a set of processes that are followed to save someone from a particular disease. Processes that have been tested over and over again. It showed positive results for most of the people while few didn't respond in the expected way. The truth is that Doctors don't save lives but they delay death and we have to understand that.

This novel taught me that death is not something that anyone can save you from. It is an inevitable truth of life. I know that you all must be aware of this fact but question yourself that do you really accept this.

Dr. Atul says that it is the this seed of fear that has surfaced every human being's mind and even our field of medical sciences is build around that. Because we fear death, this field also evolved around the basic principle of saving others from this unknown path. In four and a half years of medical schooling, a doctor is just taught how to save someone from death but not how to prepare someone from it.

So, time to question ourselves guys, do we really want to be prepared to face the truth or just dig our head in the soil and pretend that there is no danger around?




Note: By no means I am trying to undermine this profession. It is one of the most respected professions of the world and maybe, it deserves even more than that.


This post first appeared on Mind- Think Some More, please read the originial post: here

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Being Mortal: My takeaways

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