Lately I’ve had the occasion to encounter multiple acts of kindness. I must say that in the last few weeks I’ve been deeply humbled by the way in which people have shown up when I was in need. For me, as I’ve mentioned before, my family and friends have been tremendously supportive and attentive. They have shown up bigtime. In my life that is what we do for each other and how blessed we are to have each other. Then there are the medical people I’ve encountered. And this is where I’ve been even more humbled.
For many years, I had an attitude, and not a good one, about the “medical establishment”. I am a trained holistic practitioner and felt that the only way to achieve a balanced life was through a holistic approach to health. Holistic medicine is defined as: “Identifying with principles of holism in a system of therapeutics, especially ones considered outside the mainstream of scientific medicine, as naturopathy or chiropractic, and often involving nutritional measures.” Along the way, after opening my heart and my mind, acquiring some maturity and insight, and meeting some amazing people along the way, I came to understand that both the traditional medical model (called allopathic medicine) and the holistic approach are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can and do work together in balance. Balance is key. A very dear friend shared an insight with me about a medical test I was about to undergo. She said that all the tests, equipment, medical interventions and treatments have been inspired by the Divine. That we have all these amazing devices because scientists have been inspired to create them. That was an important concept for me to grasp and appreciate.
I have had the blessing of being treated by some of the most skilled, kind and compassionate doctors one can imagine. Along with those doctors are the people who work with them. Each one of these associates has been kind, patient, gentle and above all compassionate. Every technician I have encountered has also been extremely patient, gentle, understanding and again, kind. Anyone who has been through a health challenge knows the vulnerable feeling of going into a medical test or procedure and these folks have been there to receive me in that state with a reassuring smile, a gentle hand, and words of encouragement. They have made me feel safe and cared for. I have said it before, I say it again, I am grateful for each one of these angels.
Kindness is one of the greatest gifts we can give each other. It takes very little effort to smile at a stranger, give up a place in the check-out line for someone else, let the other guy have the parking space, or call someone who is ill to let them know you are thinking about them. It’s so easy to take for granted that everyone is going about their lives with the same level of ease. Most people are grappling with something and the simple act of making eye contact and offering a smile of recognition can make someone’s day. That tiny moment can make a huge difference.
Everyone wants to be seen. I have been fortunate to have been seen by so many wonderful people. If you are reading this, I see you and I acknowledge you.
STRETCH: Keep kindness in the forefront of your mind as you move through your days. Have a smile ready at all times. Make eye contact. Hold the door open for someone. Let those you care about know you are thinking of them. And while you are at it, be kind to yourself.