This weeks top ten Thursday is very, very difficult – I’m still not sure what I’m going to put as I start typing this. Thanks to Tamara at Part-time Working Hockey Mom, this week we’re listing the top ten situations where we were (or wished we were) a bigger person. Standing up for ourselves or someone else, speaking up instead of chickening out, getting out of our comfort zone, stepping up to the plate, you get the picture.
Love this quote – it’s such an important thing to remember but sometimes the fear gets in the way. There are lots of things I could share here but several are probably still confidential (work related) and others where I don’t want to upset anyone – tricky, tricky situations.
1. When I was 17 I had a letter read out on the Australian version of Sixty Minutes. The week before there had been a story about a Tasmanian who was famous in the arts, and he basically implied it was a good thing that he had left Tasmania as it was not a place for creative people. I wasn’t going to let that stand so sent a letter correcting that assumption and standing up for my fellow Tasmanian’s – I wish I’d kept a copy of it as I can’t remember what I wrote now.
2. There were many times in Saudi Arabia when I wish I had of spoken up, but at just 23 I was in fear of being kicked out of the country for being rude to the locals. I learnt the art of biting my tongue a little too well.
3. The times I did speak up in Saudi were usually when my Filipino colleagues were being insulted by the patients or their relatives. By the end of the year I could give as good as they gave in Arabic – I wasn’t letting anyone call another nurse a dog and get away with it.
4. I began nursing in the 80’s when HIV/AIDS first reared it’s very ugly head. I remember we had several patients with suspected HIV who were treated like they were going to wipe out the entire population, which really upset me. We had one man in with confirmed HIV and I remember seeing another nurse put gloves on just to go near him, so I spoke up and made sure that when I touched him, unless absolutely necessary, I didn’t have gloves on.
5. There have been a couple of wedding related incidents which I can’t really talk about, just to say that one I did speak up and the wedding got cancelled which I think was for the best, and one where I didn’t speak up enough, the wedding went ahead, and the marriage ended after a year. When it comes to friend’s relationships it’s really difficult as it can make or break the friendship as well.
6. I have been a witness at an employment tribunal in the past and the best advice I was given was to pour myself some water and then have a drink every time I got asked a question so that I took my time answering. The fact that I nearly spilt the water as I poured it because my hand was shaking so much is beside the point, as the method worked very well. I got involved because I believe that doing right when it comes to patients is the most important thing for a nurse. (Out of ten witnesses I ended up being the only one to take the stand and the persons case got thrown out).
7. Sometimes being the better person is about keeping your mouth shut, and there have been too many times to mention when I have had to do this. I can’t say what they are as that would mean I’m no longer the better person.
8. Similar to above, letting go of anger and forgiving someone that you perceive has wronged you is definitely being the better person but can be really difficult. This is one that I’m still working on for a few things in my life. I know that it will make me feel better if I let things go, but the feelings can be quite long lasting.
9. One morning when I lived in Sydney in the 90’s I was watching the news and a Tasmanian politician who was being interviewed stated that Tasmania should bring in mandatory blood testing for anyone coming to Tasmania to keep out HIV and also implied about keeping out homosexuals. I quickly got out my trusty pen and paper and wrote to the local Tasmanian newspaper, and despite a slight bit of censoring they published my letter which basically said that Tasmania should screen for bigots who were ruining our state. I really, really don’t like discrimination and will always try to stand up against it. (again, I didn’t keep a copy and really regret that now).
10. Sometimes just being nice to a total stranger can make you feel really good about yourself and that can be something as simple as letting the person with less groceries than you go ahead of you in the checkout aisle. Being nice to shop people, buying a hot drink for a homeless person, or even just letting a car out into traffic – all can help you have a better day for being the better person (and imagine how good you made the other person feel).
Whew, made it to ten. What do you think, do you find it easy to be the better person or have you had too many bad reactions to your responses? Before you go, pop over to Tamara’s blog, Part-time Working Hockey Mom, and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with.
Until next time, be good, stay safe, and try and be a better person this week.
Pamela & Ken