Proverbs 12:15 (NIV): ‘The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.’

C.S. Lewis: ‘True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.’

Over a two year period, I was hospitalised several times and was astounded by the behaviour of some of my fellow patients. Why adopt a negative attitude towards people trying to help? Medical opinion should be questioned, but respected. In 90% of the world, people with a serious illness simply die. It is, therefore, galling to witness products of an affluent and pampered society not appreciate world class medical treatment. People are not living longer, we are being kept alive longer because of medical advancements, and there is a subtle difference. That rare person, genuinely interested in listening to those with considerably less to say, has a very attractive trait. It’s madness to invest the ego in temporal states. Why place importance in something absolutely guaranteed to disappear? In hospital, I encountered another oesophageal cancer sufferer, just like myself. The poor chap was having a terrible time and had been in hospital for three months. However, after just five minutes conversation, it became obvious that the point of acceptance had yet to be reached. He recounted various macho exploits from his past. Sadly, that was then. His ego was still invested within his physical prowess, now gone. I saw no humility, only anger and frustration. Maybe it didn’t have to be this way? To be humble is to lose a little in order to gain a lot.

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