Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness

Education is Good

Most of us went to school for a minimum of twelve years.  Of course, there are some of us whose mothers promised us that if they won the lottery we could go to school for the rest of our lives (that’s a true confession).  The truth is that education is good.  I’m not merely talking about sitting in a classroom listening to someone from the ivory tower espouse theories that sound good on paper but have no social relevance.  I’m not talking about taking tests, reading long lists of books…I’m talking about real life education.  The kind of education that comes from walking in this world every single day.

Whenever you’re getting an education the first thing to consider is, “what do you need to learn”?  For those facing a chronic or life-threatening illness learning how to be an empowered patient should be at the top of your list.  So let’s say you can major in patient empowerment and minor in health advocacy (self-advocacy).  These are two big arenas so your next consideration is “how do you learn how to do this”?  My hope is that your first answer is by reading the posts on this blog.  Of course there are other options like books, magazines, interviews and oh yeah…real life.

It’s important that you ask yourself, “who will be my teachers”?  You need to ask that question so when you come across someone that holds those qualities you hold on for dear life (literally and figuratively) and soak up as many lessons as possible.  We may be talking about teachers, but some may consider these people your heroes.  Some may consider these people to be spiritual directors providing divine intervention.  What they are doesn’t matter.  What you call them doesn’t matter.  What matters is the information they share and you absorb.  What matters are the lessons you learn from being in their presence and watch them in real life.  What matters is that you’re open to learning about a subject you wish you’d never had to understand let alone acknowledge.

Education is changing.  You’re changing!  What have you learned and who have you learned it from?  Share who your greatest teachers have been and why you chose them, or why they chose you to be their student!