By Christina Brimm | January 26, 2016
Every time I step through the doors of the hospital, I come into contact with people during their most devastating moments. It can happen in a matter of seconds, or it can happen over time. Everyone handles destruction, heartache, and catastrophes in their own way. Some respond with an overwhelming amount of questions, others cry, and some avoid the situation completely and choose to never enter the room. Whether it’s the patient lying in the hospital bed or the family member watching from behind the sliding glass door, tragedy has struck in the midst of what was set out to be just another day.
I’m a nurse. I come into contact with people who are experiencing some of their worst moments because it is my job. I’m invested in the lives of my patients, so it’s much easier for me to be fully aware of their struggles. But when I leave the long halls of the intensive care unit, I am no longer given the backstory that allows me to empathize with my patients. I step outside to walk the road of life with people who are traveling through their own form of daily tragedy.
I typically don’t take the time to ask myself why a person cut me off without turning on their signal or why my coworker has had an attitude for no apparent reason. I become so wrapped up in my own life and disregard the fact that other people have a story behind their actions. Life’s a roller coaster ride; one person may be having the best day, and another experiencing grief.
We all have our own story to tell, and these are important to understanding why someone acted the way they did. Every adventure you go on, every tragedy you face, and every joy you experience shapes the person you are. Although you can’t share your story with every person you come into contact with, you can use it to understand what others are going through. I’m trying to recognize that the world is full of people fighting their own daily battles, and that I can make a difference by responding with kindness. Take time to reflect on your life, so that you can understand and impact someone else’s. Sometimes clichés hold true: the small things can make the biggest difference.