Raised in Ethiopia in an Indian family, Abraham Verghese emigrated to the U.S. as a young man. He established himself as a noted physician and author, launching the program in the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford University in 2007. Verghese’s bestselling first book, My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story, centers on the challenges of assimilating to life in America while treating AIDS patients in rural Tennessee. In this 2005 New York Times article, Verghese reflects on his encounters with traumatized refugees of Hurricane Katrina. Feeling helpless in the face of their stories of suffering, he finds that all he can say is, "I’m so sorry." This experience leads him to ponder the barriers that exist between the physically and psychically wounded and those who would help. Is “the willingness to be wounded” sometimes all that we have to offer one another?
*CCR cannot guarantee the accuracy or continued availability of this online text. Please notify us if you encounter any problems.
The New York Times, Lives, September 18, 2005.
Reading - Short Enough to Read Aloud.
What makes it possible for us to connect to others? What gets in the way?Why is connection important? What does it enable? What does it impede?How do we connect with those who are different from us?How do we learn to have dialogue across difference? What does it look like?Does the world need healing? What would that look like?How do we respond to the suffering of others? How would we like others to respond to our own?How does healing occur? What makes it possible?Should we love the people we serve?What does empathy look like?