reaction paper 5 - Muhammad Jaffer 12/15/10 Reaction Paper...

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Muhammad Jaffer 12/15/10 Reaction Paper #5: The Transformative Power of Illness Throughout history, illness has been seen as a great calamity, a punishment from the divine, and a terrible evil. But while disease may certainly be a cause of suffering, it can also be a source of tremendous relief. It might serve as a constant reminder of our mortality: that our bodies are not invincible. Its complications can teach us the impermanence of the world, and how the blessings we have today should never be taken for granted. In addition, not only can it help us grow, but it can also aid those around us to flourish into better people. But most importantly of all, disease can be the harbinger of wholeness. It is the metaphorical thorn that pricks against the bubble of our preferences, until it explodes and unleashes our life force. While it seems like we are suffering, ultimately, it is only our preferences that are being quashed. Rachel Naomi Remen's Kitchen Table Wisdom establishes the significance of physical sickness in bringing about this mental and spiritual wholeness, and overall demonstrates that illness can indeed be a blessing in disguise. When I was in the fifth grade, I experienced a disease that left me hospitalized for several weeks. I began experiencing extreme pain in my knees, leaving me virtually incapacitated. After consulting dozens of experts, I finally learned the diagnosis: I had strep type A, the relatively innocuous disease that leads to bacterial infections in the throat. In a strange complication, streptococcus bacteria had slipped past my immune defenses and begun targeting my knee joints, causing my immense pain. Above all the pain, though, I remember how humbled I felt in my wheelchair—how amazed I was at the fact that such microscopic bacteria could cause me such
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2011 for the course CHM 2051 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Florida.

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reaction paper 5 - Muhammad Jaffer 12/15/10 Reaction Paper...

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