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Calligraphy – translated as life, living, lifetime, birth by Kanzi

A dear friend of mine is an Obstetrician/Gynaecologist and he has dedicated his life to working large periods each year in different disaster zones or Countries in need.

 He is presently working with Medicines sans frontiers in Aweill, South Sudan.  We send each other a text now and then.  I like to know if he is okay and safe.

‘How are you?’

‘Not bad, a lady died today, it’s really busy here’. he replied.  

All I could say in return was how heartbreaking it must be and I’m not sure what coping mechanism he uses to deal with loss of life with his patients. That he is doing such wonderful thing offering his assistance to these people in need.  I wish I was there to give him a hug.  I’m sure Doctor’s would be equipped from training and experience to deal with this type of loss but I feel it would need to be in their makeup to adapt well and gain a thick skin of resilience.  Somehow they are able to rebound and maintain a sense of well-being despite adversity, loss, or chaos.

Resilience has become a buzzword in this world we live in now.  In the aftermath of tragedies all over the world it is incredible to see such resilience in the people to put their lives together once again.   Indeed, our world today is full of misfortune and heartbreak, from terrorism and war to poverty and natural disaster.  As a result, understanding the nature of human resilience is more relevant than ever before.  A lot of literature we read now says that environment also plays a role in the development of resilience.  Frederic Flach, M.D., author of Resilience: Discovering a New Strength at Times of Stress, a well-known voice in the field proposed a two-stage process that involves an extreme change or disruption (usually accompanied by emotional pain) and a reintegration, or “putting the pieces of our world back together but into a new, stronger, wider-based structure.” Flach explains that resilience is the array of personal strengths necessary to meet ongoing cycles of disruption and adaptation throughout our lives.  He suggests that resilience is a strength most of us can develop with thought and practice.

Some points I’ve read and believe on developing Resilience:

  • the ability to manage strong emotions
  •  an optimistic outlook (along with an acceptance of reality, rather than engaging in denial)
  •  positive relationships and the ability to enlist others’ help
  • a sense of personal control and ownership
  • interpersonal and communication skills
  • strong values and beliefs
  • sense of humor
  •  flexibility and an ability to be creative in solving problems
  • a strong sense of self and confidence in one’s strengths and abilities
  • the capacity to set realistic goals and take steps to carry them out

We hear about world tragedies like MH17 crash 298 lives lost, then there is Gaza as of today there is 1100 loss of lives and it’s increasing.   In Sudan death is a common daily occurrence.   I can only pray that for my friend the joy of delivering healthy babies and keeping mother’s alive will outweigh the trauma of loss of life he will also witness.   We really don’t know how lucky we are and how trivial our own problems are in comparison to the suffering that goes on all over the world.

Let us all be more mindful of what good things we do have and tolerate each other’s weaknesses more.  We must actively live each day as if it was our last because somewhere in this world it is someones last.

God bless this man and those Angels that devote their lives to good work.

Little baby dying from Malaria

Dear sick baby dying from Malaria

Where the Doctors sleep in Sudan

Where the Doctors sleep in Sudan

Dr Paul M

Dr Paul M


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