Have we forgotten who we are? An open letter to each and every doctor


Deep within, there lies a story, an incident or the instinctive cry of a child who used to see the world in its reality, before it was falsified by the love of worldly things or by desires. Back in those long-gone days lay hours of effort and struggle and pain and suffering, which had no bearing on the  heart but the sweet flavor of struggle upon those honorable and admirable ones who took it upon themselves to serve mankind, alleviate its suffering and defend its rights. Pain and suffering to them was nothing but a reinforcement of the essence of the mission to alleviate mankind’s pain and suffering.  Struggle meant nothing but a further spread of the spirit of steadfastness into the roots of that tree of instinct that dwelt in the heart back then.

Deep in the heart of each doctor is a story to be told, and from the spirit of that story – and what effort followed it – was born and raised a great giant called: the humane doctor. I say not a great angel, but a great man, for he is more precious and of more value to the Creator. Such a person has chosen to serve The Most Merciful, and paid the price in long years of effort and struggle and self-denial, in order to achieve the full purpose of his creation, namely to be the extension of his Creator on Earth, thus deserving that the angels bow to him in awe.

And as the days pass and turn into months and years, the day finally comes when the hard-working student is ready to don his white coat, the symbol of purity and wholesomeness. How can any student forget that moment, for after a lot of soul-searching, the wonderful person inside him has prevailed, in order to serve God from the very first day.  The day has finally come when the humane doctor will go out to serve mankind. The days pass quickly, and the doctor gets used to being a doctor, and his sensibility goes numb, as happens with people in all walks of life. He gets used to being sought after by people, of being needed but not in need; and then starts the great battle: the battle of life with all its clamor and appeal. Now everybody is bargaining and competing for worldly goods ……. a whole lot of pleasure, self-indulgence, procreation and boasting: mixed up values, where what should be precious is now cheap, and what is cheap has become precious, where the honest are doubted and the dishonest are trusted, where the liar is given credibility and the truthful is doubted, where the unworthy is honored and the honorable is humiliated, where the free and honorable are silenced because of their diffidence and the lowly and wicked are obeyed out of fear or out of compliance to their arrogance, where rights are not attained except by force.

And in these worldly transactions, everyone bargains with the worthless worldly assets he owns, and with every deal a person’s worthiness diminishes, a worthiness that would make him valuable and precious in God’s judgment; and thus the magnificent giant that dwells inside any great person goes hungry.

The years pass and the giant is getting weaker, frailer and more drained, for it has been starved for long, and it finally falls ill and dies, and there is nothing left of the portrait of that humane doctor but flesh and blood, with a white coat on top, carrying a stethoscope, a scalpel, a lot of medical experience, and what worldly goods he has amassed.

And instead of being the wonderful, wise and humane doctor he once was, instead of being a guardian of his people, his nation and of his generation, he has become a bargainer just like everyone else, and so his role in life has diminished, in fact he is now on the fringe of society. And after the humane doctor was the wise man of society, the defender of mankind and its rights, of its physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing, he is now reduced to a mere provider of medical services in exchange for a fee. After the death of the giant inside him, the doctor has become just like everyone else, capable of fear just like them, ready to make do with what they accept. And so his worth has diminished, he can be bought and sold like many others are bought and sold; he has forgotten that prosperity in his particular case does not come and go according to how much he seeks it, but is ordained by his Creator in accordance with the amount of work he does, because of the special nature of his handling of God’s creations, whereas all others deal in their professions with man-made things.

It is only right that someone who deals with the most sacred thing on Earth, should deal with material things with a distinction worthy of his distinctive profession, and the nature of that profession, and his special relation with The Almighty who bestows all riches, so that his Creator can look down on him with favor, and make him a medium through which He bestows His cure.

Deep inside every doctor there is a story to be told, an incident to be remembered, or the instinctive cry of a child who used to look innocently upon the world, and see things as they really were, as God created them, not after they were falsified in the eyes of grown-ups when their instincts took a blow, as the love of life and its pleasures took a hold on their hearts.

I beseech each and every doctor to dig deep inside themselves, for they may find that great creature still barely alive inside them, though it may be shackled by the bindings of material needs. If, however, they do not find it, they must listen intently, for they may hear the echo of the instinctive cry of the child who once dwelt inside them long ago.