Today we’re going to talk about the ancient etymology of the word patient.
Pop quiz: Do you know where the word comes from?
(No one I’ve ever asked—including many doctors—has known so no pressure if you don’t know and high fives if you do know! 🤓)
Answer: As Kelly Turner points out in her great book Radical Remission, the word patient comes from the Latin pati which literally means “to suffer” and/or “to submit.”
A patient. One who suffers and/or submits.
When I first read that (in the early phase of coaching my brother after his cancer diagnosis), I literally closed the book and just sat there with my face scrunched up like I bit a lemon.
Now, I don’t know about you but I’m not a big fan of either suffering OR submitting. (Pain? Inevitable. Suffering? Optional.)
And I certainly didn’t see my brother as someone destined to “submit” to cancer (and/or his doctors who were offering a terrible prognosis and equally terrible protocol—full of suffering without a lot of gain).
As such, I found myself thinking, “What’s the OPPOSITE of one who submits?!”
Pop quiz #2: What’s your guess? What’s the opposite of one who submits? …
Answer: One who CONQUERS.
Now THAT I like.
Which brings us to the point of Today’s +1.
We’re pretty much all, inevitably, going to be a doctor’s “patient” in one way or another.
But… Let’s not go timidly.
Let’s face any and all health challenges as a CONQUEROR. Stand tall. Act like you mean it. Be the Conqueror-CEO of your own health care.
Bonus: Research shows that’s it’s people who are willing to take command of their situation, challenge assessments and lead the healing process who tend to have the best results.
btw: One more pop quiz. Do you know what the word doctor literally means? It’s also from Latin: docere—which means “to teach.”
Now THAT I like as well. A good doctor teaches his or her wise, powerful conquerors how to win whatever challenges we may be facing.
With that, I salute you, wise Conqueror.
Let’s make today another awesome day.