Saturday, August 5, 2017

Life with Chronic Disease: You Have Been Paid For

I happened to come across Maya Angelou’s speech to a graduating class in where she imparted the message, “you have been paid for.”

“Young men and women, it is important for you to know that you are worth it; in fact all of your lives already been paid for. It is imperative that you know is wonderful to be a part of this marvelous group but each of us is always and finally and painfully alone at certain times of our lives...No matter what you do, when you are absolutely alone, go inside yourselves, I encourage you and understand that you have already been loved. And then all you have to do is prepare yourself , so that that you can go out and pay for someone who is yet to come.”

While an important message for all us, but how poignant for those with chronic conditions, where it’s all to easy to complain about the lack of  a cure, a better treatment or a vaccine to prevent it in the first place. The fact is, many chronic conditions today were once terminal diseases. Thanks to those who spent thousands upon thousands of hours “paying it forward” through research, fundraising, lobbying, years of medical school, continuing education and more, because they felt your life and all those with a specific condition, are “worth it.” As Angelou put it, “You’ve been paid for by people who never even saw your face.” That’s quite a gift.

There is a circle of life. And there are circles of love. Circles of sacrifice. No beginning, no end.
We are here because somebody loved us.
We are here becomes somebody sacrificed for us.
We are here because somebody paid for us.
Pay it forward. Omid Safi

You can “pay it forward” to help others with your condition by sharing your data, volunteering with your condition specific organization, raising funds for research etc. For specific tips, check out The Importance of Social Capital for those Affected by Chronic Conditions.

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