I’ve been seeing this graphic on my ‘reader’ several times in the last few weeks – in my mad hurry scrolling through – and I decided to check out the blogger for details (and his examples.) I think it’s a wonderful idea to post once a week about something that made you smile, something positive and that others may enjoy reading about – something good for a change.
I can’t backtrack over my week looking for something (among many things) that I smiled about so I am going to post about the most recent.
When I am at work I, obviously, have my own job description of what I am responsible to accomplish while there. Typically in healthcare we do not ‘cross over’ and do things that fall under another department or even another person’s purview of responsibilities for reasons that are both evident and some not so clear. But, let’s face it, we are taking care of people…human beings, and sometimes it makes for a better day if we assist other staff with things that may not be part of ‘my job’ but they are certainly things that one is capable of doing – if we so choose. I spent a very significant portion of my shift yesterday helping out another department because they were down a staff member. It was a lot of small, simple and sometimes time consuming and physical things but those duties are necessary and by my doing them the other staff were free to perform skills that are not under my scope of practice. It was constant motion and it was, admittedly, tiring. I could have chosen to help only a few times here and there but otherwise went about my easier day (as yesterday turned out to be) but I opted to do as much as I possibly could while I was available.
I have always, always been a team-player; I believe we are all better human beings when we extend a helping hand to others, whether they ask or not. It’s just graciousness and caring..and it is contagious. All staff thanked me profusely at the end of their, or my, shifts but even had they not, I knew that they appreciated what I had done for them…and, by extension, the patients. It brought, not only a smile to my face to be recognized for my assistance, but it brought a smile to their faces as well.
Over at Trent’s World, he posts a Weekly Smile prompt. Here is the list of “rules” or guiding ideas for participation.
I am a seeker of the sublime. Driving yesterday, I was passing a park on a lake and I saw benches, conveniently and beautifully placed along the shore, and an empty one was under a tree, shaded from the sun. I turned in, found an empty parking spot – there weren’t many – and walked to the bench that I’d spotted from the road. I sat there with my elbows propped upon the back rest and just observed nature. There were a couple of loons crossing back and forth on the water in front of me, both ducking under and popping back up several yards away…back and forth, back and forth. There were many people just sitting on benches or folding chairs enjoy picnics and conversation; some were the required six-foot distance but most were not. There was a family on the shore to my right; dad and the boys were fishing while mom watched from her chair under another tree, taking the occasional photo. There were several ducks paddling around in the grasses spiking out from the water’s edge. There was an almost constant breeze which felt refreshing and the temperature was a dry 80 degrees. I sat there for maybe thirty minutes, not sure, I didn’t bother to note the time, letting my mind flow from empty to observational but mostly appreciating the quiet and beauty around me and on my skin and in my ears and before my eyes. What a wonderful world it can be.
I was inspired to post my own experience after reading one of my favorite bloggers here. I know I’ve written about this before but I honestly don’t remember how much or how long ago and I don’t care to look.
I don’t want to delve into the social/political issues that cause and perpetuate homelessness. I think it suffices to say that the multiple causes of homelessness is a ‘sick society’ – on many levels and it’s perpetuated by people who don’t believe or understand the root causes – they’d prefer to victimize the victims because that is so much easier than looking at the reality of America today.
Short story: I was homeless with my three young children and our family dog for (only) about four months; four months was plenty for me to get a taste of fear, hopelessness, poverty, inability to care for my children, shame and being victimized by people who were better off financially but were still stupid. We slept in a 3-person tent on a piece of property owned by a friend. I had a new job and it was an hour plus 30 minute drive one-way to work then back. I was frantically trying to find a home for all of us which was difficult due to: a) working; you can’t go house hunting while you are at work, b) no money – besides what I was making, c) no credit in my own name, d) hunting in a town one hour away from our tent site (because that was closer to work), e) enough room for all of us and a dog (having the dog eliminated apartments), f) and, yes, I was not willing to give up the family dog just to find an apartment; my children had given up enough.
I remember (these were the days before cell phones and definitely before the days of employee rights) having to sneak to use the phone while at work to connect with my realtor to book appointments. Everyone knew my situation. I remember becoming so depressed and anxiety ridden that I could barely think straight. At the end of summer my boss had to…get ready for this…she had to take a “Leave of Absence” because her daughter was going off to college and she was so mentally distraught about it that she couldn’t work. Fuck me! That was such a – – – what? What do you call that? God, the ignorance and self-absorption not to mention complete lack of empathy from people is mind-blowing.
Anyway…I survived ~ that and so much more since. My realtor was an angel from heaven; not kidding. NO ONE else would have gone through what she did for me. She made it her mission to find us a home and get me financially approved so my children could start school…on time.
When we face challenges in life, especially the big ones that come with labels and stigmas, and we survive them – we become a light for others by sharing our stories. I am proud of what I have endured and overcome and learned from; I am proud that I am an enlightened and a more compassionate human being. I prefer my hurdles and lessons than a “respectable” but bland life-story.
Do you believe that racism is an inherent human trait or is it learned? Either way, are there actions that society can take to eliminate, or at least diminish, racism? Or will racism always exist no matter what we do?
Our problem is not (necessarily) ”racism” (or sexism, agism, etc.). “It,” the problem, is that we humans cannot seem to exist without placing any people into a pigeon hole or category. We have this inherited social behavior of only identifying others by any means except their name and their personality/character and how they live their lives. And we don’t help matters when we insist on making our person, family, heritage, race, education, status, etc., etc. somehow an exception in comparison to others. We do this to ourselves. We all want to be treated fairly and equitably and yet, and yet…we also want to be recognized for our uniqueness (and, therefore, ‘treated differently’.) We cannot have it both ways.
Can society improve?
Can we re-learn to live our lives and allow others to live theirs, all without mind(less) boundaries?
Do young children play well together despite differences in skin color, hair color, differences in bodies (such as amputations, scars, etc.) until they are taught to notice what is different between each other?
Yes, I think we can change our ‘world’/society but it is going to take time, patience, and collective will.
#FDDA: inheritance…#FPQ # 81
Okay…just realized that I didn’t exactly use the FDDA prompt as directed but I’m not changing anything now.
The dark rolls in with its promise of much needed rain. I hope that this wonderful deluge is traveling over my house an hour away. The desiccating sunshine’s scorched path is an unrelenting belt tightening its grip over the land; suffocating everything.
Is the concept of “you” continuous or does the past “you” continually fade into the present and future “you”? Considering that your body, your mind, and your memories are changing over time, what part of “you” sticks around?
This is a very intriguing question that I am sure has been ‘answered’ or pondered in the written word for millennia. If “concept” is an idea, without tangible form, the “you/me” is the energy & soul that resides in my body, mind and memories and is a continuous ‘presence’ that does evolve. I have evolved over my lifetime physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. Through all the evolution though, the energy & soul, the very essence of ‘me’ is what ‘sticks around’ until death.
“For whenever a man in any way loses self-control, or is struck down by misfortune, or grows angry, or loses heart, he shows in this way that he finds things different than what he expected, and consequently he lived under a mistake.”
~ Arthur Schopenhaurer
Mark Manson translation:
“If you’re unhappy, it’s either because you had the wrong expectations, or you failed to materialize your expectations in reality. Either way: you fucked up. And this is what drives unhappiness, the sudden realization of one’s assumptions and expectations being so terribly wrong.”
If you are interested in checking out Mark’s weekly newsletter which features three potentially life-changing ideas “…to help you be a slightly less awful human being..,” here’s the link: MindF*ckMonday