Courtesy of Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void fame: http://gapingvoid.com/2010/01/06/map-of-the-u-s-a/
The book chronicles the life of Dr. Paul Farmer, an extraordinarily compassionate anthropologist and doctor. Farmer has devoted his life completely and in an uncommon way to bringing medicine to people without it.
Paul believes something that would confound my brother Moiz and avid Ayn Rand fans--that the poor should get preferential treatment for medical care for being poor.
An excerpt from the book--a letter from Ophelia Dahl to Paul. I like this letter so much because it hints at how uncommon Paul's devotion to his cause is.
My inability to promise a life with you, as your wife, does not stem from a lack of love or deep, deep commitment to you. Indeed, as you probably know, I have not felt a serious ounce for anyone but you since 1983. My decision was based, instead, on trying to envision our life together and I saw us not matching (the only way we didn't fit). For a long time I thought I could live and work in Haiti, carving out a life with you, but now I understand that I can't. And that's simply not compatible with your life--the life you once told me you would like to lead even ten years ago. You pointed out to me once, during an emotional argument, that the qualities I love in you--that drew me to you--also cause me to resent you: namely your unswerving commitment to the poor, your limitless schedule and your massive compassion for others. You were right, and, as your wife, I would place my own emotional needs in the way of your important vision; a vision whose impact upon the poor (and the rest of us) can't be exaggerated...
I was lucky to meet you when I was young, young enough to feel as though I have always known you and lucky to have been hugely influenced and loved by you. In the end, I hope you know that as part of my histology you can never be replaced.
I tried to find a YouTube video that did this book and Paul Farmer's achievements justice. But I couldn't. This video is the closest I could find. Paul Farmer on NPR's This I Believe (click here to share this video):
P.S. I'm not sure what publisher allowed this amazing book to have both such a horrible title and horrible cover. Please fix this in your reprinting, Mr. Schuster.
"I'm going to build my own fucking hospital. And there'll be none of that there, thank you."
"I was fully formed at twenty-three."
When people have babies, they go apeshit over them. That means there's money to be made. Mommies and daddies are eager to give you money if you give them the right product/service.
Moreover, I suspect there's tons of breathing room for innovation here. People my age who grew up on the internet are now having babies (my Facebook Feed is daily proof) and have been primed to spend money on digital goods and over the internet.
PS I'm not even a mom (yet) and I can tell Circle Of Moms sucks!
Sometimes when I send email, I expect a bloody response. OK, most of the time, I expect a bloody response. But sometimes, I care if I don't get a response.
When you send an email, you should be able to tell your email you expect a response. And when you expect it by. If you don't receive a response by then, your email should send you an email telling you you didn't receive a response. Hell, you should be able to auto-send a "What up yo?" email to the person reiterating that you need a response from them!
One of my good friends from Seattle, Erik Steinfeld, just got married. I didn't attend the wedding (or the bachelor party :()! I do wish I had been! Here are the vows he spoke aloud to his now wife, Kristina! (Published without permission. It's not like he reads my blog anyway).
Kristina Jean Perez. Before I met you I would equate my life to that of a single threaded application but, like how mutli-threading is taking over the computer industry, you've added so many new pathways to my life.
Some advice I've always given to people purchasing a computer is that you can buy the best, most powerful computer on the market but if you don't spend anything on a monitor the computer is pretty worthless. A fast computer does you no good if your interface looks terrible and gives you a headache. I liken this to our relationship; I may make the best jokes, be devilishly handsome, have a fantastic career and be incredible lover...
but it would all be meaningless without you.
Marriage for women holds a much different meanining than that of men. From a man's perspective marriage is a massive undertaking, and is a choice that goes against every instinct instilled in us...which is to procreate as often and with as many people as possible. Thus despite all natural instinct directing us to run the other way, every part of my heart says that you are the only one for me.
For the rest of my life I will be there to scratch your arm as you raise it up in the middle of the night. I promise to correct your social dislexia as you make socially akward statements without even realizing it. I promise to not treat you like my computer...looking to upgrade you every 6 months and replace you every year and a half. I commit to our time every night, and when I get sick you can take care of me and when you get sick I can stay away from you to keep me from getting sick.
In the event of a zombie apocolpse, I will protect you
if I become a vampire I will not turn you, for you never turn one you truely love
If war breaks out over the frozen tundra of the NW, and a roaming band of raiders slay you, I will seek vengence till the end of time, and when I succeed I shall found a nation in your name.
If there is a nuclear holocaust, I shall roam the wastes in search of you endlessly, even if you have become a mutant.
but most importantly I commit my life to you, for we love each other.
Weird things happen in my heart when I see people that look like me suffering in photos. I'm compelled to act! The same doesn't quite happen when the people don't look like me!
I found the above photo courtesy of the Nuru Project. See more here. The Nuru Project's mission is to leverage photography to act as an agent for social change in the developing world. It works on me!
I've some friends that email me every time something awesome happens in their lives. I think it's my favorite thing in the world. It let's me celebrate with them. It tells me they want me to celebrate with them.
Please tell me about everything that's worth celebration in your life!
Here's an excerpt from an email I got today!
"I will be spending the next 4-5 months as a Kiva Microfinance Fellow in Asia or Africa and then moving back to Florida to help my father raise money for and commercialize his Alzheimer's and vascular disease research."
Tess tells me I need to:
- Pursue ideas I'm passionate about, not just ideas that make me money.
- Do not work Saturdays or Sundays. Get out and explore.
- Exercise daily. It feels sexy-licious!
Awesome advice for me. And likely for you!
In Life, STUFF HAPPENS. An incredible number of people preclude some awesome possibilities simply by not believing. Smart people. Confident, smart people.
In life, STUFF HAPPENS! You get the brilliant, hot girl. You get into Princeton. He asks you to marry him. Your kids turn out beautiful and a little more self-aware and arrogant than you can remember yourself at that age. That idea you had about underwear that makes your butt look good IS BRILLIANT. If you ran with it, you could get rich and be on CNBC whenever you want. Whenever you want.
Not everything pans out. But that's ok; it's not suppose to! You're suppose to kill it sometimes and get fucked others.
Everyone you admire believed. Everyone you admire believed. So should you. Start now god damn it.