A Trio of Life Lessons
It had been a while since the passing of a loved one felt, even for brief moments, unfair; I guess this is a common human response when those we love depart this plane at a young age.
This past week one of my life mentors, Dr. Steven Hoath, passed away unexpectedly. The news made me feel, even for a brief moment, that the discussions we had and those yet to come were unfinished.
I met Steve approximately two and a half years ago, after a mutual friend introduced us because he thought we would have something in common… We did. He was a retired neonatologist from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and I was just starting my sub specialty fellowship in that institution. We both loved movies, science and, above all, any reading or experience that would lift and teach our spirits. We lived close by, so we were able to see each other on a regular basis. He was a seeker, an explorer of science and truth. A brilliant and humble mind. A great friend. A true mentor.
During our weekly talks, I told him about the opportunity to write this blog. He encouraged me to write, to express my feelings, to provide perspective on important matters, to allow others to understand my point of view… “Don’t just be a spectator. Allow yourself to collaborate with the world”
It is only fitting that I use this medium to express what I think were the three biggest life lessons that Steve taught me, sometimes during prolonged discussions, always by example:
- Do not be afraid to be happy (in the moment). Sometimes I spend too much energy focusing on the negative; on what I need to improve… Enjoying the little things and the constant appreciation for the present help me live and fulfill the moment. Smile, try not to complain, seek happiness.
- Put everything on paper. Sometimes I get so fixated in my problems that they appear to be growing out of proportion. Steve taught me there is a sobering effect in writing about them. Somehow, expressing myself and writing about my afflictions, allows me to see these problems as they really are. Most of the times, the real size of these problems is much smaller than the perception of them; and the path to resolving them is also much clearer in paper.
- Wear the world like a loose garment. True growth comes from within. Perfectly explained by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in his novel The Little Prince– “Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”
Thank you Steve, my brother, for helping me and Santiago feel peaceful.
I miss you.