On the patient’s bed

On the patient's bed,
brown bones beneath the gown say
"I'm so proud of you."
  1. When a Filipino patient comes in and recognizes you are Filipino there is a complex sense of pride: I am proud I can represent my culture, proud of how my family raised me, and proud of my hard work. I have a privileged life and it’s cool and an honor that I can use it to help others.
  2. But most of all, I am humbled. Humbled because my patients teach me it is possible to be happy because of someone else’s happiness. I am always surprised to see their beaming face when they look at me when I come in through the door. Their joy tells me it is possible to be thankful for the fortune of another. My joy is their joy. Their joy is my joy. Collective gratitude– that is what Filipino culture teaches me.
  3. “But the most obvious fact about praise — whether of God or any thing — strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless (sometimes even if) shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it. The world rings with praise — lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game — praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars. I had not noticed how the humblest, and at the same time most balanced and capacious, minds, praised most, while the cranks, misfits and malcontents praised least . . .”  (From Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis)
  4. “I had not noticed either that just as men spontaneously praise what ever they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: “Isn’t she lovely? Wasn’t it glorious? Don’t you think that magnificent?” The Psalmists in telling everyone to praise God are doing what all men do when they speak of what they care about. My whole, more general, difficulty about the praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely Valuable, what we delight to do, what indeed we can’t help doing, about everything else we value.”  (From Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis)
  5. “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.” (From Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis)

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