In today’s society, we’re being rushed through our entire lives. Whether we’re spending our time working to pay the bills or sitting around and watching TV, it’s easy to lose track of the things that are truly important in this world.
Alistair McAlpine, a palliative pediatrician from Cape Town, South Africa, was sick of seeing negativity clouding his newsfeed, so he decided to share something inspiring instead.
Working for the non-profit organization, PaedsPal, McAlpine spends every day caring for children with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses.
Most recently, McAlpine decided to ask his terminally-ill patients what they enjoyed most in life and then shared their answers on Twitter.
In a tweet, he explained: “For an assignment, I asked some of my terminal pediatric palliative care patients what they had enjoyed in life, and what gave it meaning. Kids can be so wise, y’know.”
What followed was a heartbreakingly wise and beautiful thread of reflection that reminded everybody to reconsider the way they’re spending their precious time.
McAlpine noted that none of the kids wished they had spent more time watching TV or cruising on Facebook.
For many, animals played a large role in their lives.
The doctor quoted a few of their responses:
“I love Rufus, his funny bark makes me laugh.”
“I love when Ginny snuggles up to me at night and purrs.”
“I was happiest riding jake on the beach.”
All of them loved being told stories— especially by their parents.
“Harry Potter made me feel brave.”
“I love stories in space!”
“I want to be a great detective like Sherlock Holmes when I’m better.”
They thought the beach was a special place.
“I made big sandcastles!”
“Being in the sea with the waves was so exciting! My eyes didn’t even hurt!”
The kids appreciated the people who never judged them.
“My real friends didn’t care when my hair fell out.”
“Jane came to visit after the surgery and didn’t even notice the scar!”
And loved the ones with kindness and a sense of humor.
“My granny is so kind to me. She always makes me smile.”
“My daddy pulls funny faces which I just love!”
“Jonny gave me half his sandwich when I didn’t eat mine. That was nice.”
Above all, family was most important.
“Mum and dad are the best!”
“My sister always hugs me tight.”
“No one loves me like mummy loves me!”
And they worried how their parents would deal with their loss.
“Hope mum will be okay. She seems sad.”
“Dad mustn’t worry. He’ll see me again soon.
“God will take care of my mum and dad when I’m gone.”
At the end of his thread, Alistair leaves a take-home message for those reading: “Be kind. Read more books. Spend time with your family. Crack jokes. Go to the beach. Hug your dog. Tell that special person you love them. These are the things these kids wished they could’ve done more. The rest is details.”
Watch the thought-provoking video below.
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