• Nora Knople

You Don't Have to Be a Brain Surgeon 

Growing up, I felt I needed to do better than I had as a kid. We did ok for ourselves on the surface, but I never wanted to struggle like my parents appeared to. I hoped one day I could take care of them. Alas, I struggled. Eventually, I did care for them, just not in the capacity I hoped.

Fast forward, I didn't want my kids to struggle, but they did. Struggling doesn't mean we're not making it or you're failing. It means we are still evolving on our purposeful paths, making changes and experiencing growth. My kids do pretty well for themselves, now, aa adults, some with their own kids. I'm certain they are still evolving and not wanting things from their childhoods to mimic into their children's lives. However, I hope I instilled enough good qualities to make the struggle worth it and bearable.

One thing I instilled in my kids was to just do your best, no matter the task or job. The world is full of tasks and jobs. If you strive to do yours well, you will benefit well in life. I tried to empower and encourage them, that if they wanted to be a brain surgeon, do it, and they were thusly informed of the commitment it would take to achieve such a goal. In being supportive, my husband and I worked to encourage and educate them the best we could. I think we all fared well. Alas, not everyone can be a brain surgeon. Even with the best of intentions, the strongest drive and determination, there are medical students who do not make the cut. It can be discouraging to do your best and feel you fall short of your own expectations. Even the student who graduates last in his class is still a doctor. Remember that... for what it is worth.

But, not everyone can be a brain surgeon, nor should. Keep in mind though, a brain surgeon is successful in skill, yes. Yet, behind every brain surgeon is a dozen or so people who support them in their success and efforts. They may not get the most credit for the efforts or successes, but without them, the brain surgeon would not be as successful because he or she could not do every task needed during surgery. From the general physician who refers the patient to the surgeon, to the anesthesiologist, hospital administrators, nursing staff, dietitians, cafeteria workers, pharmacists, x-ray technicians, hospital clergy, cleaning crew and more... they must all do their part to ensure success for the task at hand and the patient must be compliant and do their part, and God do His part for ultimate success in the overall outcome, and each of them measures success differently.

So you see, whether you pump gas, change oil, work a drive thru, deliver pizzas, are a chef, a mechanic, a clergy, a parishioner, a teacher, a student, a parent, a child, a factory worker, a supervisor, a police officer, a parking attendant...the list can go on and on... you and your job matters. How you do that job matters. People depend on you to be and do your best, so do it, no matter the task or job. Be proud of yourself and take pride in what you do.

If you choose to be a brain surgeon, be the best damn brain surgeon you can be. If you strive and do not make it, that's not failure. Look at the thousand ways you can make a difference. Brain surgery may not be for you. Nonetheless, you have every opportunity to grow. You hear stories every day of one person's struggle and perseverance amongst tremendous strife. If you are open to change, driven to work hard and do your best, you'll go far. Life can takes us through a series of significant changes. The opportunity to learn strategies for dealing with challenges is an invaluable education. Do not be too quick to write off the struggle. It's worth it. I promise. Life is not about the destination or the designation. It is about the journey and how you embrace it with every fiber of your being, whether in trial or triumph. You'll make it. Keep trying.

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