As Arya Krish sat and faced the new incoming class of physicians at the Institute, his eyes looked past them. His mind was somewhere else. Sunshine streamed in through the tall windows to his left, illuminating the large room with long beams of light and glistening over the polished oak floors. The physicians sat at their individual wooden desks. They all wore white coats, and their arms rested on their desks, palms down. Fact was, they could have sat any way they wanted. They all happened to choose to sit the same way.
After all, we are the sum of our choices. He sat and stared past the physicians, thinking back to the countless times he’d told that to others—friends, family, colleagues, patients. He tried to remember the last time somebody said it to him and thought of his father, who’d told him that all the time when he was alive. Krish sighed in melancholy and looked down. He also wore his white coat, and his hands rested on the desk. Under them was an envelope, already opened. He had a choice now, too. At 36 years old, a culmination of choices led to this one—a choice that would affect so much, even the dozen physicians who faced him. Their day-to-day lives might not change noticeably, and they would all remain oblivious, like brilliant pawns.
It would certainly affect him, however, and send him on a trajectory toward a confrontation with the very people with whom he would form an alliance. All he had to do was sign the papers in the envelope.
The physicians sat silently, as if they waited patiently for him to address them. Krish’s hand quivered as he opened the envelope and picked up the pen. We are the sum of our choices, he thought again. It is the process of being and becoming. He signed the papers, put them back in the envelope swiftly, and stood. The physicians remained still but looked intently. Arya noticed a beam of sunshine that fell over his desk as his tall frame fell in the bright light, and made his white coat almost glow.
“Welcome to Beacon Medical Institute,” he said. Krish’s smile was genuine. After all, he himself had hand-picked them. “Completing a five-year premedical and medical combination program at the top of your respective classes makes you the young cream of an elite crop and sets you all apart from the rest who completed similar programs. They will all undoubtedly have exemplary careers, as brilliant as they are and wherever they may be. But you are here instead of them, because you shine brighter in our eyes. You have already demonstrated a service to humanity that is above and beyond the modicum of human empathy and compassion. For that, I salute you, and I invite you to join a dedicated effort to wield real power for the greater good.”
Krish knew that these young physicians understood exactly what he was talking about as they looked at him in awe. He knew the words energized every single one of them and stirred the bright core of potential and capability he referenced. These traits did shine brighter in these select few. Actually, Krish had said the exact same words to others before them, but that didn’t matter at this moment.
They didn’t know that, and his words affected them like rare and refreshing fruit. Though he had told others the same words in identical moments, his comments were not diminished. Coming from Krish, the words were as potent as at the time of their genesis. Not that many had experienced the same moment that these physicians shared. The pedigree was few and proud.
He picked up the envelope and continued to scan the faces at the desks. A cinematic moment of stillness and silence filled the sunlit room. The windows were tall and wide, and had anyone turned toward them, they would have seen an impressive view. The Institute’s architecture was most certainly inspired by the surrounding landmarks and commanded the visual reverence that validated its location near the monuments and historic buildings. Arya Krish quickly turned and walked toward the door. He paused for a moment and looked back at the physicians, then left the room and closed the door behind him.