Children can often be incredibly wise beyond their years.
Dr. Alastair McAlpine saw negativity in the world wherever he turned, so he decided to tweet some of the wisdom he’d learned from his terminally ill patients. These kids were all between the ages of four and nine years old, but they still managed to pinpoint exactly what it is that made life worth living for them — and their answers might surprise you.
As a palliative care physician in Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. McAlpine eases the pain of children who are dying. The medicine he practices is not intended to cure their ailments, rather to make them comfortable and provide the most joyful, dignified death possible for them.
For an assignment, I asked some of my terminal paediatric palliative care patients what they had enjoyed in life, and what gave it meaning. Kids can be so wise, y'know. Here are some of the responses (Thread).
— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) February 1, 2018
His thread about this informal survey of what really matters (and what doesn’t matter) in life went viral online, and with good reason. These kids’ replies are as heartbreaking as they are wise, and we could all learn a thing or two about the simple pleasures that make life worth living.
1.Nobody wishes they’d spent more time online.
2. Animals make human lives better.
3. They love their parents.
4. Ice cream, duh.
5. Reading makes a big difference.
6. Worrying is a waste of time.
7. Everyone loves the beach!
8. Kindness matters.
9. Laughter is the best medicine.
10. Kids love their toys.
11. Family time is the best time.
Dr. McAlpine wrapped up his thread with one last important recap:
As much as we all agree that it’s “the little things” that make life glorious, it’s incredible to hear these thoughts conveyed by children who are nearing the end of their time here. Let’s all use this wisdom as a reminder to devote yourself to your family with all of your heart, because in the end, the love we give and receive is all that really matters.
Please share this beautiful and important message with others.