The first time I met Dr. Scott Sattler was at his office, back in the nineties.
I was selling pagers — prior to the omnipresence of cell phones. Scott was the decision-maker for a local medical group. I was ushered into the room and warmly greeted with an outstretched hand and smile that seemed like it could split his face in half. Prominent on the wall behind his desk was a poster consisting of Sanskrit writing.
In sales, one learns to establish “emotional rapport” quickly; a fancy term for “be friendly and interested in what the person in front of you finds of import.” However actually curious, I asked of him, “What does that mean?”
I’m sure I’m gumming up the translation but, as I recall, it was something about “The doctor is not the healer.” He elaborated that he was merely the vehicle by which healing could take place, but that healing came from a greater source and simply directed him, in conjunction with the natural abilities of the human body.
I knew I would like him from that moment on. I was not wrong.
We crossed paths regularly. His twisted, playful, quick-witted sense of humor made him a regular in the annual pun-off, in which I competed several times.
A few years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer but continued to be active; speaking on the “Gift of Cancer.”
I recall him arriving at the Center for Spiritual Living, wool beanie covering his now hairless head, yet his ever-present smile still bursting forth sunshine. Using word and song, he shared how his knowledge of having a terminal disease actually made him more aware and grateful for what life brought. He didn’t show regret, simply acceptance of the path on which he now walked. Scott was active in the Sufi faith and his inclusive lessons and stories brought tears of joy to the eyes of those of us in the chairs. His singing voice was pure, penetrating to our souls. The fact that Scott’s story of having cancer could bring forth so much gladness in others summed him up.
Wanting so much to be near that optimism, and being the producer of a motivational podcast at the time, I asked if he’d be willing to share his story on a wider level. We scheduled an hour and I met him at his home, recording equipment in hand. Listening to him, I felt like I was sitting at the foot of wisdom. It was an interview I wished would never end.