Prejudice: A poem by Arielle Silverman

This post is part of our collection of “Gold Nuggets” —  our way of alerting the medical community to original artwork, poetry or multimedia that stimulate discussion and reflection.

In a blog post titled “Toward the clinical humanities: How literature and the arts can help shape humanism and professionalism in medical education“, Johanna Shapiro, PhD writes “I have never found a better way of  encouraging students to ask questions and of stimulating a critical position in regards to the answers that emerge, than by having them read a poem or participate in a skit or gaze at a painting.”

If you have something you think would make for good discussion by the medical community, you can submit a Gold Nugget by following these instructions



Blindness is a trying world
when people console me
and produce a friendship with me
because they pity me for being blind.

One must love me
for the accomplishments and gifts of me.

Blindness is like a thick layer of sand
hiding the many gifts which lay underneath.
My real friends are good archeologists
and excavate my world;
but others give up right away
because I am blind
and they see nothing but my faults.

Every time I falter
the sand deepens
and only the more careful people
push it away.

— Arielle Silverman, age 10, blind from birth

Discussion Questions
  1. Have you had an experience where others have helped you “excavate” your world? What impact did this have on you?
  2. Who are the “care-ful” people in your life?
  3. How can you become a more “care-ful”  person in relationship to patients and their families, staff, colleagues and your own family?


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