Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturdays With Doctor Roffman

Each Saturday, Dr. Joel Roffman, MD, a prominent Dallas cardiologist and author will share meaningful experiences he has had with patients who are dealing with a variety of physical and emotional issues. You will find the manner in which they deal with life’s problems to be practical, inspirational and uplifting.

Jeannie visited me in the office last week. For years, she had been a successful realtor. With the recent economic downturn, we all know what has happened to the housing market.

To her great dismay, Jeannie was essentially forced out of her company; she was simply not selling enough homes to earn a living. She decided to return to her very first occupation - that of a teacher. Of all things, she was now teaching middle school science! To her delight and surprise, she was incredibly content in her new role, at one point actually becoming emotional as she recounted to me the impact she was having on her students and taking great joy in opening up a whole world to some of them.

Of course, Jeannie’s income is not close to what it had been in her peak years of selling homes, but between her salary and that of her husband, her family certainly had enough to live on.
Fulfillment in life and impacting others in a positive way is not necessarily related to one’s income. Indeed, we can all make a positive impact on our surroundings whatever our line of work. In fact, we can make this impact even if we don’t work – but rather in our interactions with others through volunteer work, friendships, and even in our simple day-to-day relationships.

We read in the Talmud, “Who is wealthy? The person who is satisfied with what they have.” Jeannie embodies this message.

In his book, God in Search of Man, Abraham Joshua Heschel writes, “If the world is only power to us and we are all absorbed in a gold rush, then the only god we may come to know is the golden calf.”

Care to respond with anecdotes and activities that have brought you fulfillment? Send them to me at I will print some responses in a future blog entry.

Dr. Joel Roffman has spoken to many church, synagogue and support groups. His book, Coping with Adversity: Judaism’s response to illness and other life struggles is enjoyable, uplifting and informative. It is meant for people of all faiths and can be viewed at It is available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, and

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