Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l Baha
By Robert L. Bassett, MD
“What book should every hand surgeon read?” Clearly we have all done hand fellowships. Clearly technical works on current practice do not require further praise. What is important to us as hand surgeons? How can we best treat our patients? How do we love, care for, give to and respect our patients? How do we make our own lives most joyful by doing so? How do we let “deeds not words” be our adorning? What is an easy accessible example of how to do this?
The book Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l Baha by Annamarie Honnold is a confection of one to four paragraph examples of how to display a pure, kind, and radiant heart. ‘Abdu’l Baha, known as the Master, was a religious prisoner for forty years under the Ottoman Turks and was then freed in 1908 to live his old age in Palestine. He visited the U.S. in 1912 and there are many stories about his humble yet courageous life of spreading a message of unity and peace. This entire book is full of these very short but powerful episodes, which are both inspirational and for me a joy to read – sometimes in very short bursts. It is a refreshing perspective about how we might want to live our lives and transcend the mundane cares of our professional daily challenges. We can all use a boost to be our best selves. Happy reading.