“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” Mahatma Gandhi
I spent a long day in the emergency room today with my 22-year-old daughter. She is safe and sound in her own bed tonight, but when she arrived to the hospital she was all kinds of miserable, and of course, I was all kinds of worried. We were led back to a cubicle and I helped my daughter slip into the starchy, thin, tie in the back gown she was handed. We waited quietly in that stark white room, but after 30 minutes of her laying on a cold gurney without so much as a nod form anyone, I walked out to the nurses desk and asked when she might be seen. “There are 43 patients in front of her” was the rather terse reply. Although it was said with a smile, it was a clear dismissal. I returned to my daughter’s side and shared the news. She settled a little deeper into her ‘miserable’ and I settled a bit more securely into my ‘worried.’
And then something amazing happened. A nurse named ‘Bill F.’ whisked through the curtain and the temperature in that icy little cubicle went up at least ten degrees. Kind, sincere, genuine, patient, interested, and so obviously committed to his art as one whose job is to heal others. In 30 seconds time he let us know that what was happening there in cubicle 21, was the most important thing in the whole ER. The other 43 patients that the terse unit clerk had introduced us to no longer mattered.
Bill F. was such a beautiful example of the power of kindness. Sure he started the IV expertly, and was completely on point with all of his nursing duties…. but it was his kindness that delivered the goods…. so much so that about three hours into our five-hour sojourn, my daughter woke from her pain med induced nap and said, ‘Mom, do we have time to get a thank you card for Bill?’ She returned to her slumber before I could even answer.