Ergeba Sheferaw, MD, MPH
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein.
Imagine my surprise when I came across this quote from Albert Einstein. As a mother of young children, I have been trying to instill knowledge…making sure they know their numbers, alphabets, colors and so on. So, I wondered why Albert Einstein would say that. The answer follows:
“For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” Albert Einstein.
As a radiologist who specialized in breast imaging, cancer is on my radar daily. Despite the significant advances in the treatment of cancer, there is still so much we do not know about cancer and how to treat it. This is especially true for late stage diseases. Many of us recall cases in tumor boards which had been “successfully” treated that later end up with widespread metastatic disease.
I believe the current state of cancer care in Ethiopia could be an opportunity. It is an opportunity to reimagine how we think about health care and healing. It is an opportunity to look within ourselves and give birth to a new paradigm. What would it look like to empower Ethiopian scientists and researchers to develop new and innovative pharmaceuticals? Instead of investing our resources in buying western textbooks, what would it look like if we encouraged Ethiopian doctors and professors in the country to start writing the textbooks of tomorrow? What would it look like when we stop looking for external sources to solve our internal problems? Can you imagine what our hospitals, institutions and treatment centers of the future will look like when we believe in ourselves and know that we can create anything we imagine? Now is the time to unleash our imagination and believe in our own power!
I would like to end this article with another quote.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williams.