How do you react when things are taken out of your control? I usually just go along with it. Perhaps I lack the self-confidence to make a fuss. Perhaps it’s a resignation that “whatever will be will be.”
My surgeon said I required a side-room. Excellent, space to myself and comparatively quiet. I would at least get some sleep which would aid my recovery. But alas, it was only a matter of hours before someone else was deemed to have a greater need and I was ejected onto the main ward.
The prospect of living day and night in a room with 7 strangers fills me with foreboding. I need time and space to myself, not to mention plenty of sleep. The youngest by 30 years, I didn’t rate the chances of sleep very high; from past experience, there was bound to be “the snorer” and a confused person who didn’t know where they were or what was happening.
Over the next days I got to know a little about the others on the ward. There was one gentleman, let’s call him Jim, who had undergone the procedure I’d had six years previously. Jim was worried. How would he cope with the change? How would he be affected? Would he be able to lead anything resembling a normal life?
Too often we think that life revolves around us. You and I are not the main characters on this global stage. Perhaps my role in this scene was to guide another character. Perhaps Jim’s well-being, rather than my own, was the reason I was on the ward.
Reluctantly I switched off my ipod and spoke to Jim. I was able to allay some of his fears, reassuring him with snippets of my own experience. He was visibly encouraged. I wished we’d spoken earlier.
We are savvy consumers, easily asking “what’s in this for me?” Much harder, but more valuable is “what can I contribute here?”
Whatever your circumstance today, be a contributor. You might just make someone’s day.