It’s been an uncharacteristically slow day on the anesthesia service here at Tufts. And after monitoring anesthesia for a mast cell tumor removal this morning and spending the rest of afternoon talking with my rotation mates about the daily hospital gossip, I’ve come to find myself sitting on a stool in induction reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche.
At the end of the chapter discussing optimism and positivity, I read this old Tibetan saying:
Now, I’m sure there are many possible interpretations of this saying. That’s the cool thing about any old Tibetan proverb – you can interpret it in any way you want. You can make it work for you, and the diverse field of veterinary medicine is very much the same. You can make the way you learn, the way you practice, and the way you teach work for you as an individual.
But, curious about the possible interpretations of this saying, I asked around the anesthesia department for some other thoughts. Some believe it’s telling us to see the best in everything, that everything started from something, and that everything and everyone has the potential to be great. Furthermore, and applicable to clinics, when students work together, they build good team structure which maximizes function and learning. Others said it’s an instruction to be accepting and not picky. Better yet, and facetiously put by one of my rotation mates, “You could always just order boneless wings.” Which, I guess, is true.
In addition to these thoughts, my interpretation of this saying is simple: be optimistic. In all scenarios, with all people, throughout life, and especially in veterinary medicine. All of these things have unwanted, non-ideal components we’d rather not deal with or turn a blind eye to. It happens all the time. But it’s these undesirable components, the bones and the leaves, that make these things inherently good. So, love all parts of something. Love your person, yourself, and your career in veterinary medicine one-hundred percent (busy days, late nights, dog vomit, and all!).
What’s your interpretation of this saying?