This week’s inspiration is from an article by famed neurologist, Dr. Oliver Sacks who recently discovered that he has terminal cancer. Dr. Sacks is also the author of many books, including “Awakenings” which became an acclaimed movie starring Robin Williams.
His op-ed piece in the NY Times moved both Jim and I to tears.
“It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me,” Dr. Sacks wrote. “I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can.”
He said in addition to his five previous books, his autobiography will be published this spring and several other books are nearing completion.
Dr. Sacks said he has also recently felt an ability “to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts.”
However, “This does not mean I am finished with life,” he said.
“On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight,”
“I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude,” Dr. Sacks concluded. “I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”
Dr. Sacks remind us once again of the incredible power of gratitude and the truth of psychotherapist and Auschwitz survivor, Victor Frankl’s words that it isn’t what happens to you, it’s how you respond.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
– Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
I hope Dr. Sacks’ words inspire you as much as it did us. It is a powerful call to action for all of us to live life fully, to love more deeply, to seize each moment and choose how to live. To read Dr. Sacks’ full article, click here…