Mark Twain, when writing about Jeanne d’Arc, found it difficult to comprehend certain ‘truths’ about her that were embedded ultimately in altruism and faith. Altruism, naturally, is the belief that self-service is wrong and that service of others is good, that our greatest happiness in life comes from giving to others, selflessly, even self-sacrificing. Some no doubt find this a difficult perspective to come to terms with – I had an engaging chat with a ‘friend’ about this, and he could not be shaken from his belief that self-satisfaction is the ‘payoff’ from altruism, and as such it is in and of itself a selfish action – because the altruist is gaining a self-affirmation out of it. Read more about Toronto laser hair removal
Maybe it’s a kind of madness, but I can say that self-satisfaction isn’t the reasoning behind giving, although I’d be lying if I said it didn’t exist, it merely isn’t important. This is a little abstract for a daily blog, perhaps, but hey. I don’t feel like a full lonely empath entry today, and I will be talking about a mixture shortly… but first let me say this. I think, in certain ways if not in the majority of ways, I default towards altruism. This is especially apparent in relationships between myself and friends, and in relationships in which I am less engaged. There is something entirely captivating about seeing people emotionally content and joyous, something about watching people in love be in love that makes me feel amazingly content. Not content in myself, oh no, that’s a rarity and a half these days, but content that the world is spinning on its axis as it should – even when I’m never on the inside of these relationships, I’m just the facilitator looking in and smiling in gentle affection.
Ah, what a fun time it is.
I’ve finally finished my surgical term in ENT surgery – which was amazing, let’s not split hairs, but thank god, no more surgery. Ever. Unless I choose to do so. Next up I have a psychiatry rotation, which I’m fairly sure will be ultimately fascinating and self-destructing, as I seem to be becoming more prone to picking up and amplifying the emotional context of people around me, so I assume that being in a crowd of depressed people will make compassion be more of a self-inflicted weapon than something useful – but we’ll see.
I finally, incidentally, have a diagnosis as to what’s been going on with me health-wise the past few months. I have managed to sustain a Groin Disruption Injury – a Gilmore’s Groin in NA – which is likely going to require surgical fixation in the not too distant future, will require a highly expensive scan, and currently involves a physiotherapist molesting my adductor muscles on a weekly basis. That said, apart from the ache today (as in, goddamnit that muscle is sore!) it was a good thing and helped a lot at the time. So that’s nice. Hopefully, with a little luck, physio will get me to a functional state, and surgery can be done during Phase 3 after I pass these pesky June Exams.
Yes, pass. I’m being somewhat confident at the moment, due to my relatively nice performance in the practice exam we had a week ago – passed each clinical station, and ranked overall in the top 30 (I think, hard to tell from the graph!) so I’m not panicking about that… just about the written paper, which will be My Nemesis I’m sure.
So I’m probably a little more hopeful than I was at the last entry, if you scroll down and feel sorrow for me – I did at the time, hell, why not still, but… right now, I feel contented. I’m on holiday (read: study break) for a week, and the past three days and nights have been… exceptional. On Thursday, I gave my final hospital presentation (of med school, I think!) then did some study at the uni and had amazing Thai food with a lovely friend; Friday I handed in my ENT surgery paper work (Grade: Excellent), had a few awesome lectures, went to the Novotel for a coffee and then had Indian food with a few med friends – one of whom is getting married tomorrow, congratulations darling Lisa! – and a pair of New Zealanders (one of whom I found to be a kindred spirit, I mean, anyone whom you can discuss Socrates, John Stuart Mill, Plato, The Beatles, Glee and Qaddafi is, well, fricking rare); and yesterday I had my Molestation Physio (which was actually pretty good), then decided to have a weekend off study so I spent the afternoon writing a Sonnet for the Jejunum, the least remembered of our bodily organs whilst watching Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert, then followed that by a fantastic home-made tapas dinner with two wonderful med friends and one of them’s husband, at the conclusion of which I realised with an amused shock, that I felt actually and peacefully happy for the first time in a long while.
Winding down is essential. Wishful thinking can be a benefit. Loving and being in love are different – but that doesn’t matter when you’re there.