Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I have come to accept that the dichotomy of religion, good versus evil, is the only black and white that exists. With people, it is only shades of grey, so we will always be disappointed when we place our faith in others. Yes there is grey area in discussing religious matters and in everyone’s faith, including denominations that believe the same fundamental truths. But when it comes down to it, we know good versus evil…we know there is good and evil in the world. And personally, I know there is a good God and there is an opposing evil as well. I think this means a lot to me because I realize that I will always be hurt by humanity-the imperfection of it all…there is good and evil in all of us.

So why do I continue to place my worth in humanity-how others feel about me, what they think, or how much they do or do not love me? It is foolish! The only think that should matter is my relationship with the only thing that is purely good-my heavenly Creator…the only one who will truly accept me for who I am, grey areas and all.

I think the term acceptance really recapitulates my growth here in Samoa. I think I have learned to accept myself and others more. I have learned that we all have good and bad in us, and at the end of the day hopefully the good outweighs the bad. I am coming also to realize we are a product of chemical reactions. Everything we do is a product of a chemical reaction---sleeping, eating, talking…our emotions so often guided by hormones. This helps me accept our humanity…we are reacting because of the reaction going on inside of us. I think we can try to help direct these reactions with our morals, ethics, and faith but we are all going to fail at some point. We are all going to let someone down and we are all going to be let down by someone more than once. We are going to be disappointed many times, but if we can remember that there is nothing black and white humanely speaking and cling to the fact that we are product of chemical reaction, perhaps we can move towards an acceptance of this inevitable disappointment.

Furthermore, disease, both physical and psychiatric will never fit into a black and white classification due to different set of individual chemical reactions. We often medicate with drugs or alcohol to calm our disease. But there are other ways to cope with these unruly reactions…through therapy, medication, family, exercise, friends, social interaction, faith. I think when we use alcohol or mind altering chemicals, this creates disrupt in the chain of reactions our body wants to produce through science and molecular biology. It can change the set of reactions to come. As a Physician Assistant, this concept helps me realize that I can not diagnose and treat two people the same because of this grey area. You can not classify people into one category, therefore not everyone can be treated the same. This must be taken into account.

Also, I believe the more aware I am of my imperfections and the more I accept them, the better healthcare provider I will be. It makes me a better practioner because I am aware of my own struggles and imperfections that make me empathize with others and accept my patients more openly. I would like for my growth here in the Pacific, personally, professionally, spiritually to be looked at as a better acceptance and I pray that acceptance continues to develop.


Named Ila because it means a defect, to hurt or feel pain in Samoan, I think my little puppy was doomed from the start. She was found with scars from either wire or a machete, someone trying to end her life from the very beginning. She was brought to Humane Society where I feel in love with her instantly. I was with her a few weeks before her short life ended when another dog attacked her. She was my baby and I loved her so much. I tried to save her but I couldn’t. The people in my village couldn’t understand why I was so hysterical over an animal but I was devastated as she laid in my blood soaked arms. I will never forget how she looked at me like ‘Mom what just happened, are you gonna help me?’ The men in the village helped me bury her. I am not sure why this had to happen, but I know she brought me a lot of happiness the short time I had her. She was a beautiful creature even with her scars. I loved her and will miss her.