The word MITZVAH refers to the 613 commandments of Jewish law, but it also means a good deed, something done for the good of humanity, not just some simple favor. It is an act of human kindness.
All my life, this has been my goal. I am not Jewish, but the idea of good deeds is not exactly foreign to a Catholic boy. And in the end, all I really wanted out of life was to do something good, something that would be an act of kindness that could resonate past my life. I wanted to do something that would be like ripples in a pond.
I'm actually surprised I haven't posted about it before. I'll have to correct that. Because there have only been two things that I've lived for: to truly make a difference in someone's life, and to love. And I think I've finally done one. I saw this patient, and she was in a bad spot, and all night long, I sat at the nurses station, ordering tests, checking labs, adjusting vasopressors and medications.
And it feels good to have saved this life, when I'm surrounded by so much death. And maybe this one life saved will not add up to anything, but I have to believe that one life saved can reverberate, and it feels like I've finally done my part for the world.
I like the movie "Pay it Forward" because I think that it encourages such a great attitude towards humanity, but really, every day is paying it forward for me. I am not getting paid extra to be a good doctor. I am paid to be an adequate doctor, and seeing some of the other residents, some are barely that. And sometimes, making a difference can be as simple as giving a damn.