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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Just a night before, she was meeting two friends for dinner and she showed them a picture of bear bear looking out at the window of the plane; “It was bear bear first time on the plane.” Her face literally lit up when she said that! Bear bear has been with her for 10 years now and they shared a deep bond. From her heart, she shared with her two friends that she talked to bear bear and sometimes bear bear would be happy, sometimes sad … One of the friends jokingly said that he knew a doctor and everyone was laughing. However, deep in their hearts, they could feel the deep feeling she has for bear bear; at least one of the other friends felt it. That night, their hearts were magically connected by bear bear.
Don’t most of us had imaginary friends or had we not spoken to our teddy bears before when we were young? Its when we grew up, our logical minds told us that we were ‘crazy’ to be talking to our teddy bears; they are just not real. Really? She is still very much innocent and connected with her heart.
Yesterday she flew home on a plane and one of the friends was at the airport to send her off; he knew that he had to go to the airport to see her off. For almost 2 hours, he waited at the entrance to the departure hall; he didn’t tell her that he would be there. It was meant to be a surprise. It was a pretty long wait and a lot of thoughts went through his mind during those moments, “What if I don’t get to see her? Lets leave it to fate, if I am fated to meet her, I will see her. In the end he told himself, “I must have the faith to believe that I would see her and I would pass her the things I had bought her and the note I had written on a piece of paper ripped off from the back of Richard Branson’s book.”
The time for her flight was getting nearer and nearer and his heart getting colder and colder and yet he kept his faith. Just as he was thinking, she walked pass him, without seeing him of course as she was rushing to the check-in counter. He walked briskly, following her footsteps and he took out his phone to show a picture of her. He walked up to her, stood besides her, shown her the picture of herself and said, “Hey, I am looking for this friend. Did you see her?” It was lame and yet she was surprised to see him and thank him for coming down to send her off. And she introduced bear bear to him. Finally they met. Although it was the first time seeing bear bear, there seemed to be a connection between him and bear bear.
As she was there in the airport at the eleventh minutes, so she was rushing throughout the whole process of scanning the luggage and checking in. He passed her the muffin he bought for her from Starbucks, just in case she got hungry on the short flight. Another bag was filled with a lollipop, M&M chocolates and Mentos; something to keep her boredom away. There wasn’t much chance to talk. It was a very short meeting before he stood at the departure gate watching her went up the escalator and disappearing in his sight. He could only wish he had given her a hug and tell her how much he would miss her. He held back …
After she left, he was on his way home. He boarded the shuttle bus that would bring him to the train station to take the train which would bring him home. Before boarding the train, he text her, “Hey,
the muffin is already cold. Don’t eat it if it doesn’t taste good anymore. Take care.” She replied, “I keep okay.” The train left the station for home.
Suddenly his phone vibrated and when he saw the name of the incoming caller, he came back to life instantly … again! He took the call promptly but she sounded dejected on the other side of the phone.
“Did you see my bear bear?” She asked.
“Yes, I saw it just now and actually wanted to take a photo of it too.” I replied.
“No, I mean did you see the bear bear with me just now?” She sounded heart-broken.
“No. I didn’t.” I said.
“It must have been left in the airport. bear bear is not with me now.” She said.
He swore he could feel her heart sunk. Without hesitation, he made up his mind to go back to the airport to search for bear bear. He couldn’t wait for the train to reach the next stop. Once the train stopped at the next station, he ran up the stair to move to the other platform to take the train back to the airport. Amazing things happened when one’s mind was truly focus! Upon reaching the train station for transfer via shuttle bus to the airport. His ticket could not get him out of the station because it was supposed to be a single trip in the other direction home. He went up to the station control and explained that he left something important in the airport and really had to go back to the airport to get it.
To his surprise, the station control personnel opened up a side gate, which is meant only for staff, to let him out and told him, “I’ll keep your train ticket with me here and I would inform my colleague at the airport about your trip on the shuttle bus.”
He boarded the shuttle bus for the third time within the day and couldn’t wait to get back to the airport as soon as possible. Finally, the shuttle bus started towards the airport direction and he started to think about where to look for bear bear and what should he be telling the staffs at the airport. At the back of his mind, he wasn’t sure he could find back bear bear but he knew he had to find it for her; bear bear has been with her for 10 years and it is an important part in her life. He couldn’t imagine seeing her brokenhearted if she really couldn’t find bear bear.
Upon reaching the airport, the first thing he did is rushing over to the luggage scanning area, which was the first possible place she could lose bear bear. It was an area for passenger only so he could only look around the area and looked through the glass panel. It was simply not good enough; he couldn’t see anything at all. At that moment he saw a security and walked up to him and explaining a little to him before asking him if there is a lost and found section. After the security explained, he found that he was not getting anyway, he needed to take charge of the situation. Thus, he asked the security if he can go into the luggage scanning area and into the check-in area.
The saying is true, “Ask and you shall receive.” The security told him ‘yes’, he could go into the luggage scanning area and the check in area. He dashed into the luggage scanning area and browsed around. To his disappointment, there was no sign of bear bear. He proceeded to the check-in area. Fortunately, there wasn’t a major line queuing for check-in and he could speak to the counter staff without much difficulty. While waiting in queue. He saw a cleaner and decided to ask him if he saw bear bear. However, due to communication challenge, they wasn’t able understand each other effectively.
When his turn came, he walked up to the counter and explained the situation once again.
“My friend flew home at the 1540 hours flight but she left her bear bear in the airport. Please help me to check if it is around here. It is very important to her as she has the bear bear for 10 years already and it is of great sentimental value to her.” I explained.
The counter staff was exceptionally helpful and also asked her colleague besides her if she saw any bear bear. At first her colleague said bluntly, “Anything that you lost at the check-in counter is not our problems because we are not allowed to touch anything beyond the counter.”
He realised it was really not in their duty and he said, “I know it is not your problem. I just want to do my best to find the bear bear because it is of great sentimental value and very important to my friend.” He could swear that almost instantly she softened down, gave a few good suggestions and even asked the person checking in at her counter to hold on for a second while she was talking to me.
To his dismay and losing hope of finding bear bear, he followed the counter staff suggestion of going to the information counter. He knew in his heart that there were only a few area which bear bear might still be. One of them was the luggage scanning area and the other at the check-in counter; he didn’t see bear bear in both areas. That left only one place – the departure area just before you board the plane. How could he possibly go into such area without boarding pass? He was entertaining the possibility of going into the area. Yet how?
On the way to the airport information counter, he saw the same cleaner and asked him to check with his friends if they saw bear bear but he couldn’t really help also. Thus, he proceeded to the information counter. When he was there, he explained the whole things over again and told the staff at the counter the possible areas which bear bear could end up in. They were all very willing to help. It was truly amazing as the saying by Ralph Waldo Emerson goes, “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” He had decided that he must help her to find bear bear and suddenly he found that everyone seemed to be willing to help him.
Yet he wasn’t able to get any lead on finding bear bear. His last resort was going through the departure gate and into the waiting area before boarding the plane where it now seemed to be the place where she left bear bear. He didn’t question on the possibility of going into the departure hall without a boarding pass. He was just asking himself how could he make them let him go in to search. The information counter staff directed him to the security at the departure gate. While on his way there, there was suddenly a hunch … an intuition or rather a question that popped up, “Did they mean the security at the luggage scanning area or the security at the departure gate? While walking pass the luggage scanning area, he decided to take a last look at it.
Standing right besides the falsified low wall, looking through the glass panel and down at the scanning machine, his face beamed with pure excitement as he saw bear bear; it was as if it had been lying there for the longest time! Overwhelming with excitement, he asked for the bear bear from the security and they just passed it to him. Immediately her face flashed through his mind. He could ‘see’ how happy she would be when she knows that bear bear is not lost.
Before leaving the airport, he walked past the information counter and thanked them. There were just so many anonymous heroes and heroines that day in the process of searching for bear bear that he wanted to thank. When he boarded the shuttle bus for the fourth time in the day to go to the train station. Suddenly, there was a deep sigh of relief. All the built up emotion could finally be released.
I’m sure at this point when you are reading this, all these sounded like in a movie or drama. Yet I could tell you that it all really happened. It happened in a day of my life on 11 August 2012; a day in my life which I would remember for the rest of my life.
Now, I just want to send bear bear back to reunite with her as soon as I manage to contact her. I am very sure she would be very happy. And I am happy too.
A random act of happiness by an elderly couple from Iowa at Mayo Clinic goes viral in Youtube and made more than 6 million people smile. And that, say Francis and Marlow Cowan, is what keeps them young. No need for the botox or all the vitamins, this is the ‘secret!’ They sure made me smile! And guess what, they are married for more than 62 years!
A sad, yet inspiring and beautiful story of Katie Kirkpatrick, a 21-year-old, “who did not let sickness stop her from living, take away the hope or faith that made her believe she had a future …“, according to snopes.com. A reminder to all that time is limited, and someday it may just be our last. How are we going to live the last of our days? Are we going to just lie in bed and wait for death to claim us? Or are we going to get up, dress up in our best, get out of the house and live life to the fullest?
Remember that how we continue to live life, is purely our choice. Katie’s choice has inspired me and I hope her choice will inspire you to live the life that you truly deserve! To a friend who lost her life to cancer recently – you will always be dearly remembered.
A tribute to a beautiful and inspiring soul – Katie Kirkpatrick
On January 15, 2005, twenty-one-year-old Katie—the girl “with a contagious smile and unrelenting optimism” who had been battling cancer for three years—married twenty-three-year-old Lapeer County sheriff’s deputy Nick Goodwin, her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, at Church of Christ in Hazel Park, Michigan.
Katie Kirkpatrick and her fiance, Nick, rest prior to their wedding. Katie has terminal cancer and spends hours in chemotherapy. Here Nick waits while she finishes one of the sessions.
Even in pain and dealing with her organs shutting down, with the help of morphine, Katie took care of every single wedding plan. Her dress had to be adjusted several times due to her constant weight loss.
An unusual accessory at the wedding was the oxygen tube that Katie used throughout the ceremony and reception as well. Katie’s parents look on.
Katie, in a wheelchair, listening to her husband and friends
At the reception, Katie had to take a few rest breaks. The pain wouldn’t allow her to stand up for long periods.
Katie passed away just five days after her wedding. Seeing the smile on her face, it was priceless.
Nick said of the wedding and Katie’s passing:
“It was wonderful. It was a dream come true. She was the most beautiful angel ever—just caring and selfless, and such an inspiration to everyone. She was always smiling no matter what happened, no matter what news she got. She was as close to perfect as they come.“
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