On Giving Back

I want to talk about why I think it is important to give back to your community. I've been lovingly called a lot of things for the amount of time I spend "doing things to help people," but I truly believe in the positive reinforcement of the human spirit by sharing in health and accomplishment as a community.

"It's easy to forget how fortunate I am." I repeat this to myself sometimes when I'm feeling particularly ungraceful and shallow, and try to remember the many ways in which it rings true, but a few people have told me that they give back because of this reason. On occasion, I feel this too, but I believe that ultimately, this pseudo-survivor's guilt isn't a good reason to give back.

I give back because I really believe people can be good. Sometimes, when you least expect it, people show incredible resourcefulness, kindness, gratitude, intelligence, and creativity. The only thing is that all of us (yes, all of us) sometimes need a little push or a little support to get to a point where those things shine through. So, it's not really about the "less fortunate" in terms of health or wealth, but helping people from all fortunes find and express the best in themselves and be recognized for that by coming together and learning about each other. It's because of this mutual benefit that I think it's so important to give back in our lives, regardless of our fortunes.


  1. Wonderful post and I absolutely agree. Giving back is important and I believe essentially people are good and care for each other. Everyone can do a little something to give back.

  2. So true. One of the best ways to get me out of a "i hate med school" funk is to volunteer at our free clinic...its so different from regular clerkships and you see the impact immediately.


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