The book Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom is about two religious men; Rabbi Albert Lewis and Pastor Henry Covington (Albom, 2008). They are the main characters in the book. They both lived a religious life showing love and care to those in need. Their life seemed perfect; however, it took a journey to put their lives where it was. They had passed through hardships in their past; it took them dedication and hard work to become clergymen. Rabbi Albert according to the author seemed to be loved by everybody in his church; he was perceived to have a kind soul. Moreover, he knew his roles as a Rabbi and kept good contact with all people in his life.
Identify and discuss five points about palliative care that you have learned from this book.
Typically, palliative care refers to specialized care for individuals suffering from serious illnesses. Specifically, it focuses on providing relief from physical stress, pain or mental stress. Providing this kind of therapy is not only provided by healthcare professionals but can also be provided by any person to provide relief to a patient. In the book the author through different characters have shown how they provided palliative care.
Two clergymen from the two religions are working in cohesion to help the poor and those in need. For instance, Rabbi met another Detroit pastor who was giving a sermon in a dilapidated church; the churchs roof had a hole (Albom, 2008). The pastor was reformed convict and drug dealer but had changed his way of living and decided to become a pastor. He author describes that the church was being run like a social place for the poor and the needy. Rabbi and the Pastor came together and helped these people individuals despite steering leadership in their churches. The drive to help the needy was because of the faith they both had. This shows that people with faith can make a substantial contribution to the society. The act of helping the needy congregation by the leaders is a clear show of palliative care. They helped improve their quality of life by giving them moral support and encouragement.
At the start of the book, an 82-year-old Rabbi requests Albom to deliver his eulogy (Albom, 2011). Albom despite not fully knowing the life history of the Rabbi insists that he understands the man better. He decided to take up the task to show palliative care to the old man. It took him some time to find out the past life of the old man which throws him into his past world of faith.
Albom looks into how the different groups, black and the whites, Christians and the Jewish, poor and the rich employ faith in trying to fight for survival. Americans are passing through difficult times with most people turning to their religions and beliefs. The two clergymen and Albom explore the challenges that are facing the modern Americans. Then they try as much as possible to address these issues while preaching. Some of the difficult issues included addressing what does heaven, what is forgiveness, the importance of faith in hard times, doubt God and intermarriage issues (Albom, 2011). By giving answers to these difficult questions, they are helping their congregations to have a better understanding of the issues and how to overcome them and thus to improve their quality of life. This is an aspect of palliative care that Album and the two other men of God provided to their congregations.The life lived by Henry also describes the aspect of palliative care. He was a renowned drug dealer who had been convicted, however, with other peoples intervention and through the love of God he turned from his sinful past and remained clean. He had previously lost hope in life. When he was convicted for something he never did, he wondered where God was, and he had a feeling that God never cared about him (Albom, 2011). However, this changed and he grew in salvation and even became a full-time pastor giving hope to the hopeless. By giving hope to others, this is a show of palliative care as he improved the spiritual life of other people.
In the life of Mitch and Pastor Lewis, Mitch received palliative care from Pastor Lewis. While he was growing up, the rabbi had taught him a lot of life lessons that he still remembers. On several occasions, he had tried to avoid the Pastor. Pastor Lewis taught how to face life issues and how to overcome them, this improved his way of thinking and consequently his quality of life.
Discuss how you can apply what you have learned in your practice of client care. Describe how this book made you feel.
The book is interesting and gives a lot of insights on palliative care. I feel more enlightened on matters palliative care after reading the book than I ever knew. I have learnt that we can use the little faith we have to transform lives of the needy and the poor. As a healthcare professional and we interact with patients on a daily basis, it is prudent to try as much as possible to give to the hopeless. Despite providing medical care is imperative also to give moral support to them. Moreover, I have learnt to believe, for instance, in the book there were homeless people who attended Pastor Henrys sermons. They had hope that God would provide them with a home, and they were living at the mercies of God. Furthermore, I also learnt that it is not good to condemn the sinners but rather treat all religions with fairness and just. For instance, the men of God worked together despite being from two different religions.
In conclusion, reading this book has transformed my perception of palliative care. I used to believe that care can only be provided by medical doctors. However, his has changed because I have noted that even the men of God through their preaching impacts peoples lives and consequently improving their quality of lives.
Albom, M. (2008). Have a little faith. London: Sphere.
Albom, M. (2011). Have a little faith: A true story. New York: Hyperion.
Albom, Mitch. Have a little faith: A true story. Hachette Books, 2011.
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