Giving Thanks for Each Day
In my cardiology practice, the spectrum of attitudes toward life and illness is broad. Some are indignant and resentful about what fate has brought then in the form of illness. Others have great equanimity, knowing that many times, no one is to blame. Sometimes, bad things just happen.
Similarly, the question of “What next – how shall I respond?” elicits a spectrum of reactions and replies. After a major illness, some go on as though their recovery meant nothing more than medical care working the way it is supposed to. Others welcome their because not too many years ago, the state of medical care may not have been able to give them the medications and procedures necessary for their survival.
In Judaism, there is a prayer that we are called on to say the moment we awaken from our night’s sleep. The prayer is said whether we are healthy of sick, comfortable or in pain, happy or in emotional distress. Here is the English translation of the prayer:
“I give thanks to you, eternal and living God, for you have compassionately returned within me my soul. Your faithfulness is abundant.”
Is today a day to be taken for granted? And if not, what am I going to do in order to give the day meaning and significance? One doesn’t have to be of a particular faith (indeed, one doesn’t have to have religious faith whatsoever) to view each day as an opportunity to, in some small way, make a difference to oneself, to one’s friends and family, and to others in the family of humankind.
If you have a comment or question about this blog entry, email Dr. Roffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 http://www.copingwithadversity.com/. It is available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon.com.