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A Piece of My Mind
April 20, 2005

The Pastor and the Party of the Century

JAMA. 2005;293(15):1835-1836. doi:10.1001/jama.293.15.1835

For all the obstacles placed in his path, Reverend Martin C. C. Wang has led a charmed life. He keeps defying the odds. Perhaps it’s luck. Or maybe there is something much, much more to it than that. For starters, there is the matter of the party of the century. And then, of course, there is the matter of ren chingwei. Never, ever doubt the power of ren chingwei.

The Reverend Wang is my father-in-law. I watch him walking block after block within our complex, cheerfully smiling and waving to our neighbors, a familiar sight in his windbreaker, baggy jeans, and large white sneakers. These days he seems as serene as the Dalai Lama himself. Last month he walked to the very bottom of the huge waterfalls in Bushkill, Pennsylvania, and then climbed back to the very top, much to his pride and delight, but also much to my dry-mouthed chagrin: for he has critical coronary artery disease, his native vessels almost completely occluded, the bypass grafts that he received 10 years ago also obstructed. That he can accomplish what he does with several collateral vessels defies logic.

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