Teach and You Will Learn

“In learning you will teach. In teaching you will learn.” – Phil Collins

Last week, my aunt passed away.  We had the funeral on Saturday and my uncle gave the Eulogy as a reflection of the gospel, the Parable of the Talents.  This story is about a master who entrusts his property to his servants as he leaves on a journey.  He gives one 5 bags of gold, another two bags and the last one bag, according to their abilities.  

The servant who gained five bags of gold put his money to work and gained five bags more.  The one who got two bags of gold worked and gained two more, while the one who received one bag dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.  When the master returned, he congratulated the two who made gains, but punished the one who did not.  The gold is meant to represent our talents or gifts that God has given us.  We are entrusted with the amount of gifts, talents or even challenges that we can handle.

So, I thought about his as it applies to my life and specifically to my career.  I have been give a talent of being a surgeon, a caregiver and a teacher.  It is how we share these gifts that really matters.

Over the last two years, I have been teaching robotic surgery to other surgeons around the midwest.  It has brought me tremendous joy to spread my knowledge and improve patient care.  I could have kept this talent to myself.  In fact, when I first started the teaching program, there were those that criticized and feared I was teaching the competition.  In contrast, I gained business and was recognized as an expert.  The patients gained other surgeons who learned new technology.  I found my voice and joined surgeon groups where we can collaborate and share techniques, tricks and areas of improvement.

Last week, I also had the wonderful opportunity, with my partners, to expose robotic surgery to a group of high school students interested in medicine and engineering.  They were young, enthused and eager to learn.  They got to watch surgical videos, ask questions and even try out the robot.  It was absolutely incredible to watch their minds tick and their faces light up.

I learned the true meaning of our lives is not our success, but it is how we share it.

 “I learned the true meaning of our lives is not our success, but it is how we share it.”