Pacificmelody's Blog

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He Feels Their Pain

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Hunter "Patch" Adams at a medical co...

Hunter "Patch" Adams, May 15, 1998

Before I began to write about compassion, I went to dictionary.com, which describes it as: “A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another, who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”

British poet James Kirkup said, “…with proper grace. Informing a correct compassion, that performs its love, and makes it live.” Wow, I have just reread the last eight words several times, and I am awed by their beauty.

I was struck, too, by the realization that compassion is not a wimpy little feeling. It does not merely look and pity and pass on. It enters into the feelings of the sufferer and inspires the compassionate one actually to do something to make things better. Compassion has elements of sympathy and love and strength, but it also has muscle, for want of a better word.

Patch Adams’s inspiring story is a perfect example of compassion, or love, in action. I was very distressed to hear that Universal Studios had failed to keep their promise to build the hospital, and that Patch Adams received no money from the film. From a 1999 New York Times article I learned that: “Patch Adams” the Robin Williams comedy about an unconventional doctor, was released last Christmas Day and went on to earn $135 Million at the domestic box office and $200 Million worldwide.

Rather than becoming embittered and withdrawing from the fray, Patch Adams just keeps on being Patch Adams and doing what he does best, helping people to heal from the inside out. I like the TV show “House” and watch Gregory House with a sort of horrified fascination. Most of his patients make it, true, but he is no Patch Adams. He frequently wreaks serious injury on his patients in his attempts to cure them. Since House is what I think would be classified as a functioning sociopath, if it’s all the same to you I’ll take Patch Adams’s brand of healing.

Doctors should be teaching us how to be healthy, and to notice when our bodies are out of tune, so that we can stay healthy. Nowadays we only see our doctors when we’re ill, when we’re out of tune with our natural rhythms. Do you think it’s a coincidence that doctors are said to practice medicine? I want a doctor who knows what he’s doing!

Patch Adams has inspired me to take a new look at compassion and he needs my help, and yours, to carry on his work. I pledge to do my part.

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Author: Melody J Haislip

I'm either a transplanted East Coaster or a born again West Coaster. My heart kept pulling me toward Oregon, and when I followed it I found my dream, which I am living daily. My dream of becoming a writer has come true as well. I am in the company of people who speak my language, and the sense of community is healing hurts I didn't know were there. I am very grateful for my enormous good fortune.

14 thoughts on “He Feels Their Pain

  1. Compassion and laughter are such beautiful things. This really does inspire one to want to do better for all.

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    • I put some of this kind of goodness into each of my days, to keep my feet pointed in the right direction and my spirits up. Wish everyone felt as you do.

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  2. This is a really good post! You described him perfectly.

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  3. Thank you for posting this. I enjoyed reading today’s article very much. Checking up on my health is something I do often. I try to keep up with today’s trends so I’m more active and healthier. Thanks again for sharing your article.

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  4. Hi Melody,
    Thank you for sharing this post. Your description is perfect and to the point.

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    • So nice to have you back. Yes, Dr. Patch Adams is one man who has made a tremendous impact on our world. I wish him all the success he deserves.

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  5. I’m shocked and dismayed to hear that he reaped no financial gain whatsoever from the movie. Does not one need to be consulted for permission to make a movie out of one’s story?

    I am getting so sick and tired of the greed in our system. When are we all going to get the political will to put pressure on our Congress for better, more equitable, just and rational laws?

    On the other hand, people like Patch Adams shine like a beacon. So do our bloggers like you, Melody, when they write from their hearts.

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    • Thanks Lynda. I was as shocked as you when I learned of it. I guess for some people there is never enough. It’s as if some people simply have no hearts.

      This time Patch Adams is doing it for himself, and we have to chip in and help. We’ll have to have enough heart for all of them.

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  6. Patch Adams demonstrates the truest form of compassion. The energy of laughter is uplifting to those in need. What a beautiful form of healing another.

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    • I admire him So much. He’s one of those people who was born to serve in this life, and look at what an impact he’s had. Thank you for coming by, Jenn.

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  7. This is such a great article…I did see the movie and though it was fantastic. What an inspiration he is to this world 🙂

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    • There are some people who create positivity in the world simply by being. Hope he’s getting a good response.

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