Paul Kalanithi, MD, was a Stanford neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with lung cancer in his mid-30s. Here’s an excerpt:
[…] Everyone succumbs to finitude. I suspect I am not the only one who reaches this pluperfect state. Most ambitions are either achieved or abandoned; either way, they belong to the past. The future, instead of the ladder toward the goals of life, flattens out into a perpetual present. Money, status, all the vanities the preacher of Ecclesiastes described, hold so little interest: a chasing after wind, indeed. […]
That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.
~ Paul Kalanithi, Stanford University neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, died on March 9, 2015 at the age of 37
Don’t miss the entire article in the Washington Post: Before I Go: A Stanford neurosurgeon’s parting wisdom about life and time
Thank you Elizabeth.