Sanjay and Survival
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is one of my heroes. If you’re not familiar with Dr. Gupta, he is best known for being the Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN. He’s also a neurosurgeon at Emory University. The man is absolutely brilliant when it comes to discussing health issues with we lay members of the public.
Recently, CNN asked many of their on air personalities to write essays about the person/persons who’ve changed their lives. Dr. Gupta wrote about his mother and the surgeon he trained under at the University of Michigan. His medical journey is incredible, but it’s the story of his mother I’d like to share.
See, Dr. Gupta’s mother was a refugee from the India/Pakistan conflict many years ago. When she came to America, she was hired as the first female designer for Ford. Dr. Gupta and his mother returned to her hometown several years ago. He described it as a location so desolate that one’s only method of succeeding was to simply survive. We’re talking about no running water, no power, no paved streets, no sewers, none of the things we take for granted in our western world.
In America, we have plenty of inequality. We know that schools in poverty stricken areas aren’t as good as those in wealthy areas. We know that being poor in America often means educational opportunities are simply not there. Throw in all the other “isms” we have and the land of opportunity doesn’t mean it’s a land of equality. Yet? When I hear stories of foreigners coming out of such, such desolate areas and creating an incredible life, it makes me wonder what we can do as a society to be sure the American poor can achieve the same as the American wealthy or foreigners who come here for opportunity. There are a million societal factors that go into this, obviously. I just want to be sure I (and my family) are able to recognize the vast amount of freedom and opportunity we have to better our lives. People in war ravaged countries which barely have clean water aren’t as lucky as we are. To fail to take advantage of the opportunities we have in America is a failing of the largest kind.
Here’s the link to Dr. Gupta’s article. I hope it will inspire you like it did me: