Note: This post by rising M2 Hope Conrad is Part 2 of some of the reflections from the M1s’ Gift of Life Ceremony. If you missed last week’s, be sure to read it here. (Featured Image by rising M2 Raychel Simpson.)
To impact the world around one’s self is an intrinsic part of human nature. The desire to touch the lives of others is the driving force behind many of humanity’s actions. It is because of this force that we forge relationships, contribute to society, and work within community. Most people spend an entire lifetime to leave a legacy, and many succeed in their goal. How our world has changed because of teachers, innovators, and thinkers! However, very few are able to achieve this goal after death.
It is not often that you see legacy grow after one’s passing. Memories dull, time passes and legacies fade. However, those who have chosen to give the gift of body achieve what not many before them have: to leave a legacy that continues to grow, even after their time on earth is over.
Our donors have served as our silent teachers and have taught us many things, but the lessons that will remain forever are on the head and the heart. The lesson on the head is for our career in medicine. By instructing us and forever serving as our first glimpse into the human body, the gift of donation has impacted the knowledge that we, as students, will forever have as physicians. Because of them, we have seen, we have touched, and we will forever know. The lesson on the heart is for our journey in life. The selflessness necessary to impact the lives of others, demonstrated by their giving, has shown what is expected of us in service to others. For so long they acted as our silent professors, patiently teaching and never judging, just as we should be patient and free of judgment to those around us.
The legacy of those who have given their body to the furthering of knowledge impact the world exponentially. The silent teacher guides one medical student. One medical student becomes one doctor. One doctor reaches many patients. The many healed go on to touch thousands of lives. It is because of one donor that so many lives are impacted for the better. What a beautiful gift, and what an honor it is to be a part of such a powerful legacy.
A member of the Class of 2020, Hope Conrad graduated from Anderson University with a degree in biology. She likes to live a curious life through travel, study and service to others.
Copyright 2014 USC School of Medicine Greenville