A little departure, but perhaps even more applicable than ever in our fast paced world of political, economic, and social conflicts surrounding public education, is a memoir of two brothers, each taking a very different path to success. After The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepok Chopra, this book by the Chopra brothers on CD helped eat up the miles on a trip to Warroad and back this week.
The American dream of coming to the United States and achieving success occurs for both Deepak and Sanjiv. Deepak, with a big break from Oprah Winfrey, breaks away from mainstream Western medicine and begins his own Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California. Sanjiv is the Dean for Continuing Medical Education at Harvard Medical School with an emphasis in Hepatology. The book is set up with alternating chapters from each brother reading his own chapter framing different scenes from each of their perspectives. As siblings live in intersecting worlds, it reawakens the reflection of personal perspectives of shared experiences.
Not only does the book touch upon the lack of respect Western-trained doctors had for interns and residents trained elsewhere, but it also shows the initial resistance toward complementary and alternative medical practices. How personal decisions are arrived at for each brother in terms of dealing with a mother who refuses to move to America and yet does not want to die alone in India or how to assist their children and be available for their grandchildren as they determine what of their heritage they assimilate and what they maintain of their Hindu culture.
As education leaders considering how to educate Minnesota students to be global citizens, we might also find the parallels offered in Brotherhood an entertaining and informative reflection from two very successful and public figures an eye-opening awareness of the difficulties students who come from other countries may experience in our schools and our communities. If these incredibly educated and privileged men met up with the challenges described, our sensitivity to youth coming from different cultures into our schools can be heightened.
The miles from Duluth to Warroad and back offered an opportunity to consider mind, body, spirit connections as Deepak and Sanjiv compare and contrast their beliefs, culture and practices. Brotherhood was worth the time to reflect on my own beliefs in quantum physics, importance of family, and determination of changes occurring in education similar to medicine. I was encouraged to step out of my comfort zone to see where we might lead education into a potential future.