This blog has undergone a number of mental edits – and I hesitated writing because it doesn’t have a conclusion. Still the core message is one of value to me – so I pose it here.
A week and a half ago, I was lying on a stretcher in the trauma ward of Rockyview ER receiving blood and being prepped for surgery. (The entire story of how I landed there is a bit of a saga, but there I was.) For the next three days, I was in the hands of doctors and nurses – who ably put me back together again. Needless to say, it was all out of my control – not a place I traditionally enjoy.
Still, in this place, I received so much care, support, and encouragement that I emerged with immense gratitude and an eagerness to learn more about the human body. On my first day out of the hospital, I was ready to march over and apply for medical school – so that I too could help save a life. Literally.
Now, confined to my couch for the next month in recovery, my mind goes back to the experience and ultimately relates it to philanthropy. Can’t help it. I’ve been pondering the details and considering the meaning of “to love people.”
For me, regardless of inefficiencies in the health system, these front line workers demonstrated the greatest possible love of people. Now that I’m in recovery, I’m asking, “can I possibly achieve even a sliver of that type of love?” What does that look like? What skills can I employ? What skills can I learn?
Philanthropy is more than money. It’s time and voice as well. They are often over looked, but they are a stronger force than money any day. How we use them can be redefined as we progress in our journeys.
That’s where I come to no conclusion. After a few days of thinking, maybe medical school isn’t the right answer for me. But I am challenging myself to think about how I can save a life – when my time on the couch is up.