Recently I found myself in a mild “slump” – unable to turn on the news or visit my social media homepages in anticipation of what heartbreaking news may be waiting for me that day. Let’s be real: we’re living in a scary time and resolution seems like such a complicated concept. I have always been the type of person who needs to have hope, to focus on solutions over problems…. and honestly, it can be so hard sometimes.
However, I had a personal breakthrough the other day that I feel compelled to communicate because I think that in the midst of such negative times, those of us blessed enough to work in healthcare need to be reminded just how blessed we are.
I am fortunate work at a hospital that is a destination medical facility for people from all around the world. That being said, it is not somewhere where people typically want to go – but rather find themselves as a last resort: seeking answers that no one else can provide, clarification, or possibly searching for one last shard of hope.
Last week I was out walking around my neighborhood (I live about four blocks from my workplace) and I wandered over to a beautiful outdoor prayer / reflection garden outside the hospital to sit on a bench. As I sat I began wondering about each and every person who had sat where I was sitting now.
What brought them to the hospital? Who were they praying for – who or what were they praying to? Were they praying messages of hope, bargaining, gratitude, sadness?
Chances are that the people who sat on this bench before me were praying to many different Gods, for many different reasons, and with many different emotions. However, they all have one things in common: they sat there because they wanted to live themselves, or they wanted another to live.
How beautiful is that? Every day I see people in different cultural attire, speaking different languages, and interacting in ways I cannot even begin to understand. And yet, here we all are together – because we want to live, and we want for others to live.
In hospitals we have the rare ability to see the joy that life brings as it enters the world, the heartache it brings when it leaves, and everything in between. How often do we stop to really realize how beautiful this is?
We come to work every day due to a desire to help people, to heal them, to love them. Our patients arrive from a desire to be healed and with a willingness to trust a complete stranger with everything that they are and that they will be.
Loved ones in all capacities fill hospital hallways with so much energy – energy for hope, for healing, and for peace.
This day, I realized that no matter what is going on in the world and no matter how helpless and how much sadness I may feel – – I have my chunk of world peace within the walls of the hospital. This is the place I know I will always see love every day, hear love every day, and feel love every day.
What greater honor is there than to be trusted with the lives of our fellow humans? What greater privilege is there than to experience the raw compassion that lives within hospitals?
By putting others before ourselves, we allow ourselves to become the lucky ones.
Let us never lose hope, let us never forget why we do what we do, and let us live the values of “our” peace on earth everywhere we go.