Image

the sacrifice

sacrifice is commonly known

but poorly understood,

for its memory has been corrupted,

betrayed,

forgotten,

in the game we play,

we look to our peers,

we worry about a million things,

we question love,

we ignore the call of passion,

we lose sight of our beginning,

the beginning of togetherness,

because a lot of us,

a lot of the time,

are looking at the clock

and looking to gain

but another victory,

looking to add

but another memory,

that is,

the dance of society,

the imperfect institutions,

the tongues and cultures,

the tales of the oceans

and the wisdom of the elders,

the wonders of feeling and flying and flourishing,

the devastation of greed,

the plague of hate,

that is,

we chose this madness

because suffering together

is better than thriving alone,

for halls once decorated by companionship

cannot be abandoned to silence

after tasting the music of laughter,

the heat of happiness –

we set upon justice

because we know

that we need each other,

that the eternal present

is not worth it

without the spirits of others,

and so we spun out of iridescent emotion

a tapestry of commitments,

but the scene is but a means to an end,

not an end in itself,

and I often forget that,

that the minefields that divide us,

the lines that define us,

separate us,

hurt us,

that none of that is real,

I find that I forget that

people,

the people,

you,

are not the enemy,

and if we are to meet ourselves on the battlefield

with the slightest hope of survival,

we must be united,

for the suffocating dictatorship of fear,

the hounds of anxiety,

the kingdom of kapital,

shall not yield otherwise,

we must honor the sacrifice

– for a peaceful world,

 I shall bloody mine –

we must remember

that we take up arms

not for the glory of victory,

but for the beauty of innocence,

that we sail the gales of fate,

fall to our knees in prayer,

and embrace in the face of annihilation,

just to be together.

-j

An Essay

Why do you want to be a PCM Scholar?

I applied to be a member of the Patient-Centered Medicine Scholars Program at UIC. The essay I wrote for the application was largely influenced by the learning I’ve experienced whilst in India, shaped by the teachings of Krishnamurti, in part. Let me know what you think, what you feel : ) .

I search for reality. Sometimes, I feel like I find it. Other times, I feel uncertain. Other times, I find fear. We learn what to do and what not to do, what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad. The thoughts and beliefs of countless others shape the experiences, memories and ‘truths’ that we accumulate as we try to figure out how we want to live with others, for others. Popular rhetoric continually urges us to know who we are, to make coherent the identity that is contained by the name, to decide what we want and what we need to do to attain it. The dogma of communicable truth is inseparable from the compartmentalization of life, from the systematic bifurcation of arbitrarily named entities. The result is a perpetual state of contradiction, a fabricated conflict that endures because the type of understanding that we are programmed to seek is unattainable. Indeed, even those constructs that are often portrayed as ends, such as happiness, fulfillment, and love, have been integrated into the same thought structures that convince us that the traditional conception of ‘success’ matters, that faith must be kept in something, that we must have a purpose – that the identity that contains the name, if nothing else, should be remembered.

As an incoming medical student, I am afraid of the institutions of thought and belief into whose jaws I willingly stroll. I am afraid of the mutations that might seem random only because I cannot understand the forces shaping my motives and intentions. I am afraid of slowly but surely turning into the physician that reduces the alleviation of others’ suffering into a task to be completed, into a wrong to be righted, into a lever-press to be rewarded. I am afraid of forever being a prisoner, of denying myself the opportunity to be what it is that I am, of never tasting freedom. But, then I recall that only I, the self, my self, can get in the way of that. And I recall why medicine is the only thing that I want to do with my existence. Unlike fear, pain is real. Everyone has a right to understanding the words that envelop them, to understand what they are and what they love. Pain gets in the way; it stays in the way. My experiences have taught me how to feel both what I feel and what others feel. I have been given time and opportunity to study, contemplate and meditate, to seek, wander and discover. I have been lucky with my health, fortunate with my body. My luck can be that of others; my fortune must be that of others.

Medicine, as a collaborative effort to achieve health justice for patients, can help people help themselves. It can provide people the opportunity to be themselves, to understand what that means, what that is. Medicine, construed as anything but ‘patient-centered,’ is just a business. And I’ve never been much interested in being a businessman.

– JiNiT

Self- – –

There are moments when you question everything that you believe. You have certain thoughts. Usually negative ones. You have certain feelings. Usually unpleasant ones. And they mingle and dance and stomp on your prior conceptions. A rebellion grows, and you do not know what to do to stop it. Because you can’t see it. You don’t know where the uprising is. You don’t hear the rumble of footsteps as it edges closer. The question to ask in the midst of the chaos, if you can manage to ask any reasonable questions at all, is, ‘Where is this coming from?’ You may not be able to answer that question immediately. Wait. The answer is important. If the answer to that question is something outside of yourself, something over which you have no control, you can breathe easy. And smile. Because the rebellion is imaginary. The fight is a facade. You played a silly trick on yourself. You based your value on something whose value is entirely arbitrary, and wholly unrelated to the person that you are. Nothing determines your value. No thing. You do. And only you.

– JiNiT