Each year of life has lessons to teach us. The insights in this piece may serve as a reminder to seek out advice from those who are older, and to make time for reflection.
Passion in the Medical Profession | May 24, 2023 | 3 min read
By Scott Wright, MD, Johns Hopkins Medicine
A close friend forwarded this email to me last week. It was sent to him by his late father in May of 2003. His father would have been 94 today. The author credited with this writing named below is Lucy Beneventi. I couldn’t definitively identify her on Google, and have no idea how old she was when she wrote this.
Each line moved me and rang true, and many will help me to serve my patients.
Subject: FW: TIME GETS BETTER WITH AGE
Read it through to the end, it gets better as you go!
I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night.”
I’ve learned that our dog doesn’t want to eat my broccoli either.
I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back.
I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up again.
I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up.
I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad my parents are strict with me.
I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice.
I’ve learned that brushing my child’s hair is one of life’s great pleasures.
I’ve learned that wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed me there.
I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.
I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it.
I’ve learned that you can make someone’s day by simply sending them a little note.
I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his or her need to cast blame on others.
I’ve learned that children and grandparents are natural allies.
I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I’ve learned that singing “Amazing Grace” can lift my spirits for hours.
I’ve learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone.
I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I’ve learned that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a medicine cabinet full of pills.
I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die.
I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
I’ve learned that if you want to do something positive for your children, work to improve your marriage.
I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision.
I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer.
I’ve learned that it pays to believe in miracles. And to tell the truth, I’ve seen several.
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch-holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
I’ve learned that you should pass this on to someone you care about. Sometimes they just need a little something to make them smile.
This piece expresses the views solely of the author. It does not necessarily represent the views of any organization, including Johns Hopkins Medicine.