There are things in life that are precious and unique; they stare right at your face, however you are completely oblivious to it. Like some folks you meet everyday but never realize who they really are, like the person I mentioned here (I met Harriet Tubman).
Selfless acts have better compensations. But for the most part you feel much better about things you really don't have to do but you do them anyway. You don't have to hold a door for a stranger but you do, you don't have to smile to a passer by..... but you do and you don't have to say thank you.. Recently I read this story where a Southwest pilot held a plane for a passenger who was flying out to attend a funeral. Pilot found out earlier, as he met the passenger outside the plane, that he was flying out last minute to attend his 3 year old grandson's funeral. Despite being almost 10 minutes late, he told the passenger "They can't go anywhere without me and I wasn't going anywhere without you. Now relax. We'll get you there. And again, I'm so sorry."
Do you remember this scene from the movie Forrest Gump, when he keeps on bringing survivors from the jungle after his friend Bubba was injured after the bombing. Now that is one great example of what I am saying.
I remember when I was switching my training program from Beth Israel Hospital at Boston, I asked my then program director Dr. Longmaid for a recommendation letter. He said he can do better, he picked up the phone and called the program I was applying to. He said such flattering things that even embarrassed me. But that act is one of the few most cherished memories of my life.
So in a very small way I try to do the same every now and than, I let some students do clinical attachment with me. Recently one of the students who worked with me got into a good residency program after I helped him a little bit. It was a joy to hear from him when he recently notified me. Just a small way to pay it forward.
About the picture: I recently found this plant at Haeakala National Park at Maui. It is called silver sword. You may never guess but this little plant can live up to 90 years.