Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Holy cow, what a ride!

I love this quote from Robert Nerem, a bio-engineering professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. It comes from a speech he gave as the recipient of the 2008 Founders Award from the National Academy of Engineering. In closing he listed what he calls "The Rules of Life: The Planet Earth School". The last of these rules, #15, is:

Finally, life's journey isn't to arrive
at the grave
safely in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways,
worn out,
shouting—holy cow, what a ride!

There are many ways to interpret this, but in the context of health, what I take away is that you should live your life such that you focus on truly living rather than on preserving your health. Health is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

The full speech is definitely worth reading. If you're not into engineering, you can still enjoy the rest of Prof. Nerem's 15 rules. The speech can be found in The Bridge, the quarterly journal of the National Academy of Engineering (pages 61-63).


KMC said...

The majority of our healthcare costs are related to diseases that could have been prevented, thus, we must take some responsibility for our actions. The relationship with the patient and doctor needs to be a major focus and making appropriate medical decisions for quality of life.

Rajiv Mehta said...

I've been working on post about the topic of "responsibility". It's been harder than expected to get my thoughts down clearly. But, hopefully in the next couple of days ...