A Review of “Being Mortal” by Dr. Atul Gawande
There is a scene in the New Testament, occurring not long after the resurrection, where the risen Christ appears to Peter and the other disciples as they are fishing. “Just as day was breaking,” the Bible says, “Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know it was Jesus.”
A conversation ensues. Jesus offers some practical advice. “Cast your net on the right side of the boat,” he says. Even so, they still don’t recognize him.
I suspect that scene plays out in modern life more often than we realize.
This morning I finished reading “Being Mortal: Aging, Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Dr. Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon. As I turned the last page and put the book down, I felt like I had encountered similar light and wisdom. There it all was, beautifully written, laid out in plain language, the answer to so many of the problems that vex us. Gawande’s practical advice was not how catch more fish, but rather:
- How to reform health insurance and, in the process, save trillions of dollars in Medicare costs;
- How to restore the dignity of the aged, providing them with special care needed by those at the end of life;
- How to integrate love into the otherwise cold science of medicine.
What a wonderful book. If you care for a senior, if you care about health care costs, if you care for people, then take the time to read this book. If you believe that Jesus is alive and that he still has things to teach us, then read this book, and witness the gentle, loving compassion of Christ woven into Gawande’s words.
It will make a believer out of you. It will make you a fisher of men.
Books by Brant
For Christmas 2018, my brother, a pilot with American Airlines, gave me a gift that became the experience of a lifetime: 12 months of free travel anywhere American Airlines flies.
Thus began a year long journey that took me from the rocky coasts of Portugal, to the hot sands of Morocco, to the mangrove swamps of Panama, with many places beyond and between. In cheap hostels and the backwaters of the nomadic milieu, I discovered a treasure chest of colorful and fascinating people. I tell their stories and a bit of my own.
The trip became as much a spiritual and emotional journey inward as it was a literal outward one, and found me in a place those of you who are in the second half of life are likely to recognize.
With references to the philosophies of Carl Gustav Jung, Jesus, Bob Dylan, and the Buddha, Blue Skyways is an international romp by a man in his 60’s with not much more than a pack on his back, and still much to learn.
A suspense/thriller novel!
When a university student uses advanced software to analyze dreams from around the world, he discovers odd, unexplainable patterns in the data. Where one dream ends, another begins…even though the dreamers are strangers. Unique objects appear in one person’s dream and reappear in another's.
The patterns form a map pointing to an ancient, lost object, but when the student is mysteriously murdered, his deadbeat brother and estranged wife embark on an international race to recover the map's buried treasure. Along the way, the troubled couple are opposed by dark forces of the religious underworld, who launch a global pandemic to ensure the map's secret remains lost forever.