Yes, I discovered something new today. I have known since I was a grade school boy who Jonas Salk was. He invented, innovated, and developed the vaccine to stop the polio virus. Polio created fear every summer throughout the United States, especially.
I knew all that, so this was not my discovery. Sometimes discoveries are simply realizations or acceptance of ideas, concepts, or facts previously unknown. This is what happened to me today when I read a quote from Jonas Salk on someone’s Instagram post. I couldn’t even find it again, but I looked up some quotes and biographical information about Dr. Salk. (Thanks, Goodreads!)
I’m not doing a school paper on Salk, but I will share a bit. The last several years before the final tests and deployment of his vaccine, fifteen to twenty thousand children a year were being paralyzed by the disease. Salk engineered the whole program, and it was successful. The awesome part is that he refused to apply for a patent for this. A few people claim it wouldn’t have been possible; however, at that time Salk was considered a savior and I’m fairly certain he would have been successful. Estimates of possible profits run into the billions for Salk, but he chose not to capitalize on the vaccine.
Why did he choose to forfeit such wealth? This is where I love to process situations involving mind and soul through my Heart. I see evidence that tells me what was motivating and empowering Dr. Salk, and he was someone who had come to discover core Self, one who chose Heart. Did this go on through his whole life? I have no idea, nor do I care in the sense of judging him about anything else. At least some of his actions and words bear witness to a man who enjoyed the fellowship of the Heart.
His actions and work have saved millions of lives and millions more from lives of misery. His words, oh, that’s the discovery of my day. How does one work tirelessly for seven years to succeed in a quest like virtually wiping out polio? “Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.” But this wasn’t random. Salk cultivated that relationship with “intuition,” which I would probably call Heart: “It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It’s my partner.”
Then, he relates these ideas about intuition and Heart to others, encouraging them, urging them, to know the same sort of motivation and spirit he experienced and lived by. He cared for people deeply, and this is a marker of one who is in the fellowship of the Heart. He would ask others, “What makes your heart leap?” He prodded them to help them recognize their passion and where they might experience significance.
He also laid out the relationships of humans with one another clearly: “I look upon ourselves as partners in all of this, and that each of us contributes and does what he can do best. And so I see not a top rung and a bottom rung — I see all this horizontally — and I see this as part of a matrix. And I see every human being as having a purpose, a destiny, if you like — the destiny that exists in each of us — and find ways and means to provide such opportunities for everyone.” Knowing your Heart and discovering Purpose — yep, pretty clear.
Then, he encouraged people to have dreams and execute them, like he had modeled so well to the world: “Hope lies in dreams, in imagination and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.”
I hope we all work towards making dreams into realities this week.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!