Words of wisdom

The December 27th edition of Krista Tippett’s Speaking of Faith featured an enlightening and inspiring interview with Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen. Dr. Remen is Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine and author of the books Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings.

Here is a sample of the wisdom I heard from Dr. Remen, whose perspective has been shaped by her personal experience facing Crohn’s disease.

“Science defines life in its own way, but life is larger than science. Life is filled with mystery, courage, heroism, and love. All these things that we can witness but not measure or even understand, but they make our lives valuable anyway.

“I have no answers, but I have a lot of questions, and those questions have helped me to live better than any answers I might find.

“The most important questions don’t seem to have ready answers, but the questions themselves have healing power when they are shared. An answer is an invitation to stop thinking about something, to stop wondering. Life has no such stopping places. Life is a process whose every event is connected to the moment that just went by. An unanswered question is a fine traveling companion. It sharpens your eye for the road. (From Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal).

“Sometimes what appears to be a catastrophe, over time, becomes a strong foundation from which to live a good life. It’s possible to live a good life even though it isn’t an easy life.

“The view from the edge of life is so much clearer than the view that most of us have, that what seems to be important is much more simple
and accessible for everybody, which is who you’ve touched on your way through life, who’s touched you. What you’re leaving behind you in the hearts and minds of other people is far more important than whatever wealth you may have accumulated.

How would I live if I was exactly what’s needed to heal the world?”

If this sounds engaging and inspiring, I suggest you listen to the program.

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