CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith and Life for the Years of Winter…
An addendum to yesterday…
A third thing I learned from Bernie Siegel is that fighting, both for cure and for healing, can be learned.
[I’m hoping I remember these percentages correctly.]
He says that about twenty percent of people are automatic fighters. They will immediately take arms against their disease.
Twenty percent are automatic dyers. If the doctor says they will die in a year, they will die in a year, to the day! There is not much you can do about them.
The sixty percent in the middle can be fighters if they are taught.
That was my group. At first, I thought, “Well, I’ll just sit here and die. There’s nothing I can do against cancer.” But my wife and daughters and friends would have none of that. “Learn to fight,” they said, in various ways. So I did.
As we age, fighting for a cure to whatever ails us is less and less necessary. Everybody dies, and the older we are, the better the chances of that death coming soon. But we are never too old to learn to fight for healing, for wholeness in the soul. If nobody else tells you to learn to fight, tell youself.
“All we ask [in old age] is to be allowed to remain the authors of our own story.” Atul Gawande, Being Mortal, p. 140.