Seven Pounds with Will Smith: A Surprising Source of Reflection

This is a slightly impulsive blog, and since I have already blogged three times this week, you may be excused from being tired of hearing from me. However, while in the momement, I wanted to capture my thoughts on paper.

I have just watched a movie called ‘Seven Pounds’. It features Will Smith who, having caused a fatal car accident that claimed seven lives including his wife’s, sets out to find seven people to whom an organ or tissue is needed to save or dramatically improve their lives. He does this as he plans to take his own life with the express and planned decision to donate his organs to them. Along the way, he of course, falls in the love with the woman who eventually receives his heart – both literally and figurately. It’s Hollywood – of course he does.

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I will not deny it – it got to me and I did shed a tear. I am old softie at heart after-all.

As I sat afterwards over a cup of green tea (just to complete any loss of masculinity this afternoon), I thought about the film. Not, as you might think about the notion of organ donation – for that in itself is a meaty issue and not something for light reflection – but about the way in which Will Smith looked into people to see how they treated others in the face of antagonsim. He looked at how they still gave and acted as good decent people when they were themselves in desperate need of being given to.

As a doctor my job is not only to help treat patients physical and mental conditions but to treat them as a person. A person who is no doubt scared, unsure, desperate for answers and solutions, often with a team of family and friends around them. I thought how I try and be understanding and patient in the presence of these people – but it is not always possible – sad to say when I am tired and frustrated and stressed – I am not always the most patient of people – my own mother would certainly testify to that.

However then I thought again. Nick – you are being a complete idiot – the fact that you are a doctor means nothing. Being a doctor is not a dictator to the way in which I should treat people when our lives cross each other. It should be instead be about who I am as a person, as an individual – stripped back bare to before a job title or a status. As Nick, pure and simple, not as a Doctor Nick, I would like to think that I treat people well. I suppose that this film however reminded me to always try that little bit harder with people and when I can, to be kind, and generous, and supportive. Life can, afterall, be very hard at times.

This may very much sound like the ramblings of someone who is used to being very busy and that clearly has had too much time of his hands to think, but I would hope that I am making some-kind of sense – that, we need to look beyond a person’s clothes, status, job, position in society, whatever it may be and instead look at how they behave as a person – I bet you if you look around we will see a lot more good than the newspapers try and convinve us of.

If you have a chance, do what the movie, it’s very powerful – just have a box of tissues at the ready.

Have a lovely weekend all.

Nick

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