Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant? – Henry David Thoreau
A beautifully made video which shows the essence, which all healthcare practitioners should have. As what Henry David Thoreau said, should the healthcare practitioners look through the eyes of their patients, would they have ‘treated’ their patients very differently? I believe so.
I remembered the time when my father was very sick, the ones who were really connected to us were not the ones who merely treated my father but the ones who went through the extra miles to find out what else we needed and to give us advice.
In fact, we could use a lot of empathy in our everyday lives and not only in healthcare or service lines and it should be two-way. We must bear in mind that the waiter/waitress who is serving us in the restaurant, or the cashier who is processing our payments, the strangers who cross our paths – each and everyone of them has a story. It was indeed very wise of Socrates when he said, “Be nicer than necessary to everyone you meet. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle.”
From this moment, whenever we are readied to judge the person in front of us, perhaps … no, then all the more we must get to know the person better. Often time when we dislike something in another, we can be sure that that ‘something’ can be found in us too. You may scream ‘Not True’ all you want. And yet when we calm down and ask ourselves honestly, we do have to admit that that ‘something’, which we dislike in the other person, is also in us.
If only we could stand in the person’s shoes, hear what he or she hears, see what he or she sees, and feel what he or she feels, would we have treated the person differently?
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Wonderful lessons which we can learn from a simple illustration of geese flying in a “V” formation; this is so applicable to us in real life.
Next fall, when you see geese heading South for the Winter, flying along in “V” formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way: as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in “V” formation the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
Lesson #1: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.
Lesson #2: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are.
When the Head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
Lesson #3: It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs with people or with geese flying South.
Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson #4: What do we say when we honk from behind?
Finally, and this is important, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshots and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until it dies. Only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group.
Lesson #5: IF WE HAVE THE SENSE OF A GOOSE, WE WILL STAND BY EACH OTHER LIKE THAT.
There is no different … the different is only in our minds.
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end.
They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.
Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.
It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.
She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.’
There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy. ‘Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present. When we give, we do not merely give of ourselves and that which we give becomes part of another and touches the heart of the receiver.
As Bob Marley said, “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”
Share this positive story with friends and family … You could change a life too.
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A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!
It couldn’t be more simply and vividly put across than the short passage above. One of my junior college teachers once said to us during a lesson that 70% of our worries will never come true. Don’t ask me, I have the slightly idea where she got the 70% from. She was my Physics teacher and yet she taught me a lesson in life which I will never forget.
Isn’t it true enough? Most of our worries are a waste of time and they didn’t come true most of the time. Worries can be useful especially those which we can do something about them. Instead of wasting time worrying, we might as well make change if it is within our abilities. If there is nothing we can do about them, we might as well accept them and do our best to make good use of them.
As for stresses, what have always been said is that a little stress is actually good and it gives us motivation to take action and move forward. Yet a lot of stresses, if not handle properly, do have their detrimental effects on our lives. This short passage is a wonderful illustration which I would make use of to remind myself about not holding on to stresses for too long; the glass of water will just get heavier and heavier.
Are you currently holding on to your glass or even glasses of water?
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