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Caring Can Make All the Difference


I was the kid who was always waving his hand in class, hoping to be called on, wanting to show how smart he was, and asking please to be given the gold star.

Fast forward to my appointment as visiting professor of philosophy at an esteemed medical school and meeting a great, great physician who off-handedly mentioned to one of his students, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

And I got it. Smart is good. But it is not great. Caring is great. Caring heals.

All of us know someone going through a tough time. All of us would be better people for taking the time to visit this person. And all of us would offer more support by sitting quietly, leaving our smart stuff at the door, and listening. And caring. If eyes are the window to the soul, eye contact is soul contact.

The human skin is the largest organ in the human body. Taking someone’s hand, putting an arm around someone’s shoulder, kissing someone on the forehead is its own medical degree, its own doctor’s license, its own magic healing.