A HEART SURGEON WITH A HEART
“Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray”
- An old proverb
I am a great admirer of Dr. Devi Shetty, the renowned heart surgeon of our country. He is different… he is extremely sensitive and human… and, above all, he is spiritual. People call him, ‘A heart surgeon with a heart’!
Now, I do not intend to write this Post talking about Dr. Devi Shetty… Yes, he has carried out more than 15,000 heart surgeries so far (he is 64), some of which have been most complicated ones… He believes in affordable heart-care and, hence, he has been aggressively propagating this cause by setting up finest health-care facilities across the country… Here alone are carried out more than ten percent of our country’s heart surgeries! He had carried out heart surgery on Mother Teresa and served as her personal physician, in the process, getting hugely inspired by her work… Rightly, the nation has bestowed upon him a Padma Shree and Padma Bhushan…
What I intend to convey in this Post is this: Like Dr. Devi, we all are into our own professions and trade… someone is a lawyer or a judge… someone is a banker or a insurer, someone is an architect or a builder, someone is a teacher, preacher, trainer or counselor… someone is a trader or a manufacturer… someone is a film producer, a director, an actor or a spot boy… someone is a hotelier, a chef, a travel agent or a travel guide… someone is a nurse, a nanny or simply a house maid… someone is a priest, a nun or a charitable person… someone is an office manager or an office boy… someone is just a parent, a grandparent, a sibling or a student… Yes, everybody here on earth is somebody doing some work whether that work is paid or not paid…
The question that haunts me today is: If something has made Dr. Devi a ‘surgeon with heart’, what makes a builder, ‘a builder with a heart’ and what makes a teacher, ‘a teacher with a heart’? What makes a corporate head, ‘a CEO with a heart’ and what makes his office boy, ‘an office boy with a heart’?
The challenge for Mother Teresa was not only to choose a life of utter simplicity and dedication for herself, the challenge for her was to inspire that ideal, that choice, also, in every woman and man who came to serve under Missionaries of Charity. Similarly, the challenge for Dr. Devi is not only to remain true to what he deeply believes in, but also to inspire the same ideal – serve God by serving his creations… Serving with hand is a greater prayer than praying with lips… It is not a doctor who saves life, it is God… Differentiating between need and greed - yes, the challenge for Dr. Devi is to inspire these ideals also in every doctor, nurse and para-medico who comes to serve under him…
And, this very challenge drives the rest of us to choose a life of need or a life of greed every day as we go about our own professions… Where is our heart as we go about our work? Is our work inspired one or just some heartless drudgery?
And, to do our ‘missions’ with our hearts, we do not have to wait till we become ‘great’ like Mother Teresa or Dr. Devi Shetty. We just need to do our work with a great heart, as they did!