The verses of “In Celebration of Being Alive” elegantly capture the essence of human experience. The collection resonates with the ebbs and flows of life, from moments of quiet contemplation to bursts of exuberant celebration. Through the interplay of words, it illustrates the interconnectedness of all living things, reminding us that we are part of a vast and intricate tapestry. Read More Class 12th English Summaries.
In Celebration of Being Alive Summary
In Celebration of Being Alive Introduction:
Dr. Christiaan Barnard made history in the field of medicine. He made attempts to transplant the human heart. This lesson has actually been taken from a speech by him. Dr. Barnard talks about the lesson he took from two youngsters about the business of living. Those who have a brave and positive attitude in life move forward in spite of physical suffering. They do not cry or weep. Such people ignore all pain. They become an example for others. They teach us the real art of living. We should celebrate being alive.
In Celebration of Being Alive Summary in English
Dr. Christiaan Barnard is about to reach the end of his career as a heart surgeon. He thinks why people suffer so much. There is a lot of suffering in the world. In the year of this lecture, 125 million children were born. 12 million might not reach the age of one and another six million would die before the age of five. Out of the rest many would end up as mental or physical cripples.
He had these thoughts from an accident which he had a few years ago. His wife and he were one day crossing a street. The next moment a car had hit him and knocked him into his wife. She was thrown into the other lane and hit by a car coming from the opposite side. During the next few days in the hospital, he exprienced pain and fear and also anger.
He could not understand why he and his wife had to suffer. His eleven ribs were broken. His lung was holed. His wife had a badly fractured shoulder. He asked himself why all this should happen to them. He had a young baby and his wife was required to take care of him.
If his father had been alive, he would have told him that it was God’s will that he was suffering. God tests human beings through making them suffer. Suffering ennobles a man. As a doctor Barnard sees nothing noble in suffering. Nor does he see any nobility in the crying of a lonely child, in a ward at night. He had his first knowledge of the suffering of children when he was a boy.
His father told him about his brother who had died several years earlier. He had been born with an abnormal heart. If he had been born in the present age, probably his heart problem would have been corrected. But in those days good heart surgery was not available.
Summary In Celebration of Being Alive
As a doctor, Barnard had always found the suffering of children very heart breaking. Children believe that the doctors are going to help them. If doctors cannot help them, they accept their fate. They go through painful surgery and afterwards, they don’t complain.
One morning, several years ago, he saw what he calls the Grand Prix of Cape Town’s Red Cross Children’s Hospital. It opened his eyes. He felt that he was missing something in all his thinking about suffering.
That morning a nurse had left a breakfast trolley. It was not attended by anyone. Two persons took the trolley away by force. They were a driver and a mechanic. The mechanic was totally blind and the driver had only one arm. Both of them drove the trolley away. The mechanic galloped along behind the trolley with his head down and the driver was seated on the lower deck. He held on with one hand and steered by scraping on his foot on the floor.
People saw them going. They put on a good show. The people laughed encouraged by other patients. The entertainment provided by the blind mechanic and one-handed driver was much better than fun provided by a car race. It was full of solace for Dr. Barnard. The nurse and ward sister caught up with them, scolded them and put them back into bed. The mechanic was seven years old. One night, when his mother and father were drunk, his mother threw a lantern at his father.
The latern broke over the child’s head and shoulders. He suffered some very bad injuries in burns on the upper part of his body and lost both his eyes. He looked horrible. His face was disfigured. When his wound got well, this boy could open his mouth by raising his head. The doctor stopped by to see him after the race. He was shouting that he had won and he was laughing.
The doctor had closed a hole in the heart of the trolley’s driver. He had come back to the hospital because he had a malignant tumour of the bone. A few days before the race, his shoulder and arm were amputated. There was no hope of recovering. After the Grand Prix (the car race) he proudly informed the doctor that the race was a success. The only problem was that the trolley’s wheels were not properly oiled. But he was a good driver and he had full confidence in the mechanic.
The doctor suddenly realised that the two children had given him a useful lesson about getting on the business of living. Business of living is joy in the real sense of living. The business of living is the celebration of being alive. These two children showed to Dr. Barnard that it is not what you have lost that’s important. What is important is what you have been left with.