One morning I walked in to see a young farmer who we had treated the day before for tuberculosis, and he looked at me and he said, “You know, I get the feeling that you’re wondering why you’re here.” He said, “You came here for one reason. You came here for me, and that ought to be enough.” And that sticks in my mind — more than any moment I think I have experienced in my life — as truth. We should have our grand dreams, we should pursue them, that’s what being human is all about, that’s part of the nobility of our enterprise. But we should never forget that what really matters is what you do one-on-one with a single human being. Where you reach out and you try to help them make their life a little better.
And if that’s all you do, your whole life is to do that occasionally, then you have succeeded.