What makes life worth living? Good question, huh?
I just read the book When Breath Becomes Air. It is the memoir of Dr. Paul Kalanithi who died in 2015 from lung cancer at age 37. Dr. Kalanithi was a neurosurgery resident when he was diagnosed with advanced cancer.
It is a beautiful book.
Dr. Kalanithi describes parts of his life as he tries to answer one of life’s most important questions. What make life worth living?
Did your life have meaning?
Did you live it well? Did you accomplish everything on your bucket list?
I certainly thought about all of those questions after my cancer diagnosis. One of the many things I found incredible about Dr. Kalanithi was that he thought about how to have a meaningful life well before his tragic diagnosis, even as a young man.
There is a captivating discussion in the book when, as a college student, he is deciding between working as a prep cook at a camp vs. working in a prestigious research lab. He felt it was a choice between experiencing life first hand while at the camp or studying life while researching macaques. Against the better judgment of some of his professors, he chose the camp and never regretted it. Not the usual choice for a college student thinking about going to medical school. [Read more…] about What makes life worth living?