24 April 2009

Love is all around

Success. Most define it in terms of wealth, position, or power. Mine was defined today in a way. One of my daughters graciously told the world she had inherited my hands. And was to have inherited them. Whenever someone I love pays me a compliment, enjoys a measure of fulfillment through a childhood teaching I count it as success.

“Do we exemplify [a] legacy of love? Do our homes? Bernadine Healy, in a commencement address, gave this counsel: ‘As a physician, who has been deeply privileged to share the most profound moments of people’s lives including their final moments, let me tell you a secret. People facing death don’t think about what degrees they have earned, what positions they have held, or how much wealth they have accumulated. At the end, what really matters is who you loved and who loved you. That circle of love is everything, and is a great measure of a past life. It is the gift of greatest worth’ (“On Light and Worth: Lessons from Medicine,” Commencement address, Vassar College, 29 May 1994, 10, Special Collections).”

How is success defined for you?