I discovered this book thanks to a couple of podcasts, I came across. Also a cousin whose taste in books I quite like, highly recommended it.
The podcasts had Atul Gawande, sagaciously explain the issues around caring for the old and infirm. Atul Gawande brings in a lot of data, a lot of empathy and accepts that a lot of medicine is work in progress.
Fair warning, there are plenty of triggers in this book, as it does tackle a difficult topic. The topic of growing old, or falling sick and being mortal.
There are some beautiful and profound insights in the book. The writing is often arresting and sometimes beautiful.
Below is one of my favourites from the book
As our time winds down, we all seek comfort in simple pleasures — companionship, everyday routines, the taste of good food, the warmth of sunlight on our faces. We become less interested in the rewards of achieving and accumulating, and more interested in the rewards of simply being. Yet while we may feel less ambitious, we also become concerned for our legacy. And we have a deep need to identify purposes outside ourselves that make living feel meaningful and worthwhile.From Being Mortal
A couple of days ago, I met a friend with whom I went on a very long walk. We walked for over 3 hours, waiting for breakfast, coffee later and some cheesecake by noon. There is something great about walking and talking with a friend for hours. For some reason there is a lot of clarity and elasticity in thought while thinking about things during a walk.
So I wondered if the best way to enjoy my walk was not just walk to music but also listen to a podcast and think about things. Today I loaded listened to Atul Gawande and Tom Jennings talking about mortality.
There is a lot to take away from that podcast with quotes like
What is turning out to be the powerful way of actually having this conversation is, you put the pills down, and you talk to the patient and you say: ‘What’s really important in your life?’
While listening to it can tear you up a bit, especially if you have lost someone, but it has a lot of amazing insights into how we view our work and how it can make a difference.