Dear reader, do you ever think about the difference you are making with your life? Do you wonder about the impact you have on this world?
Since Friday night I've been thinking about my experience of coming across someone in dire need of help.
It troubles me that I don't have the skills to address the needs of someone in an emergency situation. One of my favorite books as a child was a story about Florence Nightingale wherein wounded soldiers referred to her as the Lady with a Lamp because of her ability to administer to the suffering, especially as she brought them comfort during the long, difficult hours of the night.
I've always wanted to be someone like that, someone with actual knowledge to help in such situations. As I once mentioned, my brother and I used to talk about becoming a travelling doctor and nurse until I realized watching a person get pierced with a needle made the room turn upside down for me.
Incidentally, my brother went on to become an amazing surgeon.
I do try to make a difference in the ways I know how. Do you think it's it too late to become a nurse?? I honestly think I could stick someone with a needle at this point in my life. I've toughened up and lost some of the excessive compassion which paralyzed me as a child.
More realistically, I was thinking I might take a first aid course to enhance my utility in a situation like the one I encountered last Friday. I'm haunted by the thought if I'd been the very first person to arrive on the scene of that accident, what more could I have offered the man laying on the road than a conversation about our favorite words??
I don't know what I'm trying to say here. I guess I'm partly wondering if my natural skills make any difference, the ones I already have.
Do you think writing makes a difference? They say the pen is mightier than the sword, so I suppose the roundabout answer is yes. More to the point, I guess I'm wondering what kind of difference writing makes. It doesn't put food in one's mouth or shelter over one's head unless, of course, that person is reading a pamphelet entitled How to Put Food in Your Mouth and Shelter Over Your Head.
It isn't very helpful to someone who has just crashed his motorcycle.
There is much I could say about how writing has made a difference in my life, how soothing it is, how words keep me company and how arranging and rearranging them gives me no end of pleasure. But I am wondering if it makes a difference to anyone else.
Moving on...something which makes a small yet real difference: stitching. You'd be surprised how satisfying it becomes to the person who spends time doing it. I've actually witnessed this activity absorb the pain of a terminal illness and provide a few hours of reprieve to someone who was very dear to me.
By leaving a comment on this post (please do not feel obligated to validate my hope that writing is as vital as open heart surgery, unless you actually think it is), your name will be entered into a drawing for a little piece of linen featuring a quiet rabbit, with a pretty Japanese hoop and some embroidery floss for your pleasure.
Wishing you the ability to make a difference today. xo