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A Word about “The Man Upstairs”

A Word about “The Man Upstairs”

His name is Bunzo Takamatsu, Dr. Takamatsu, that is.  He is a practitioner of oriental medicine and acupuncture.  He occupies the office directly above mine in the Preston Place building, so he is quite literally, “the man upstairs.”

Bunzo has practiced his trade for many years.  He is the acupuncturist to whom many physicians refer their patients, especially for pain related issues.  I have been a patient of his, and I recommend him highly.

The topic of this “word,” however, is not Bunzo, but the patients who come to him for treatment.  You see, when I am not in a counseling session, I am usually in my work room.  It looks out on to the entrance to our building.  I regularly observe people who I speculate are patients of Dr. Takamatsu.

As you might imagine, many of them are not in good shape physically.  Some are in wheelchairs.  Others walk with the assistance of crutches or walkers.  One gentleman uses two canes, both feet are malformed, and he walks slowly and painfully, but with great determination.

Some people are alone.  Others have friends or family members or caretakers for assistance.

My reactions?

First, the curiosity.  I often wonder about their stories.  (Everyone has a story, of course.)  What has happened that has resulted in the challenges they are facing?  How are they handling their disability?  What would I do if I were faced with something similar?

Next, there is the gratitude.  Instead of becoming wrapped up in my own aches, pains and challenges, I say a prayer of thanksgiving that I don’t have anything worse to contend with.

Then, the sense of responsibility.  It is an important principle: “To whom much is given, much is required.”  We all have different gifts, but we all have gifts!  How am I using my gifts to help someone in need, someone in pain?  Needs can manifest in a wide variety of ways, physical, emotional and spiritual.  What can I do today to help alleviate the suffering of someone else?

Harold D Duncan, PhD



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