A Group of People

The Extra-Ordinary in All of Us

In friendships, life, life lessons, treating people, Vanderbilt, volunteering on February 9, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Time in Times Square

By Collin Peterson

“The nurses act so quickly here. I’m just not used it,” the patient commented.

“They have a great team here don’t they.” I stated.

“Yes.  It only takes the staff a minute or two to respond.  It’s unbelievable,” the patient responded.

While it is only a small observation by the patient, it brings up a good point.

In today’s world a person that demonstrates genuine regard for another comes across as extra-ordinary.  “How could it be that someone actually cares enough to write me a handwritten letter or call me on the phone to simply say hello?“  When the patient noticed that their care team put them as a priority it immediately made an impression.

I attended a talk a few years ago where the speaker described how out of touch we have become within our own communities due to technology.  He posed 2 questions: “Would you recognize your best friend’s handwriting?” and “Do you know your neighbors first and last names?” Sadly the answer for many of us in the room was no.

One of the problems with being so “connected” is that while we can act quickly, we often do so without authenticity.  Why?  Maybe it is because we have a lot to do, are expected somewhere or simply that we don’t have time to invest 100% ourselves into everything.

Is there an area of your life where you could be more genuine?  For starters, some of us could try leaving our phone in the car the next time we grab a meal with a friend (and I’m not talking about a drive-thru meal…wink).  By doing this you are showing your friend that you truly care about what they have to say.  Who knows, they just might want to go out to lunch again!

Respond rather than react.

Be patient rather than frustrated.

Present rather than preoccupied.

By putting these things into practice maybe we can start building more community, expanding our value and experiencing deeper relationships with those we have the privilege to see.

“If you only do what you know you can do- you never do very much.” – Tom Krause (speaker, teacher, coach 1934)

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” – Helen Keller

Matthew 5

Collin Peterson volunteers at the Vanderbilt Heart Institute and his blog features CONVERSATIONS FROM THE CARDIAC INTENSIVE CARE UNITS

Please check out other posts from Collin by clicking here.

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