• Something to Think About: Meaningful and precious

children's hands touching a globe representing world peace, friendships
Dr. Amit Sood  says. "Every stranger could have been your friend or loved one

Dear friend,

SNR 172. I don’t know if this means anything to you—perhaps a user ID, a password, a bank locker number, or even an acronym. It meant nothing to me either until it was assigned as the license-plate number for our car in 2010. Now I see it almost every day. It is mine in some ways, with my safety linked to the safety of the vehicle that carries this plate.

How many things or people are potentially linked to me that I presently don’t know? Their meaning will manifest at some future point. As I pick my four-year-old up from day care, how can I not help but be thankful to the family of her lovely teacher, who gives her so much love, care, and patience, despite her personal medical challenges. I feel deeply connected to my daughter’s teacher’s parents, even though I haven’t ever met them. Perhaps a doctor who might save my life in the future was just born today. Presently I don’t know that child, that child’s parents, someone who might inspire him or her to study hard, or any of his or her teachers.

If I extend this imagination, everybody and everything become relevant and meaningful to me. Nothing is an exception. Every stranger could be my friend, colleague, or loved one. Everybody is special, worthy of my attention and kindness.

I have no doubt that one or many of you, through some benign act, has profoundly helped me, perhaps even saved my life or those of my loved ones. When I live my day today thinking such, I feel more grateful and connected to you. Every day that I am alive and can take a deep breath, I should carry this belief. This awareness will give me greater peace, joy, and vitality.

Live your day today keeping the conviction that everyone and everything around you are precious and meaningful, and they are helping you more than you can imagine.

May you find a deeper connection with others, remembering that each person is connected with your life in ways you don’t even know.

Take care.

Read previous blog posts and follow @AmitSoodMD on Twitter.

Dr. Sood is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program on Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus in Minnesota. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.

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