“Through loving kindness our prognosis on life simply transforms and we ourselves become a source of delight and inspiration to others. “–Tulku Thondup
A Patient, A Nurse, A Heritage
It was the worst of times once I arrived in Brussels during a gloomy mid-February winter. I’d the added anguish of a raging cold, enervating fever and trouble breathing while Belgium isn’t noticed for its great climate in the finest of times. After a doctor diagnosed “typical pneumonia,” I was bundled off to a gloomy hospital. All the nurses were nuns. My French is distinct from Belgian French, particularly when coping with amounts (and thermometers). After a bustle of greatly robed sisters, significant arm waving and pad and pencil, the conversion of their 40.55 degrees Celsius to my 105 degrees Fahrenheit had me wondering if I had leave there alive.
However, with high temperature in that foreign area and chills – empathy and gentleness transcended preconceived judgments and language. The Edith Cavell Hospital, where I made nicely by angels and was cared for, was the embodiment of the unmitigated healing power of kindness.
Mostly forgotten now, Edith Cavell was a British nurse in World War I whose acts of kindness weren’t too arbitrary. In German-occupied Belgium Nurse Edith did not discriminate; she helped save the lives of hundreds of British, Belgian and German soldiers. However, Nurse Edith was sentenced as a spy, and executed by a German firing squad for assisting the escape of allied prisoners. Nurse Edith Cavell closing words appear on her statue in St. Martin’s Location, near Trafalgar Square in London: “Patriotism isn’t enough. Nurse Edith must not have any hatred or animosity towards anyone.”
When Empathy Transcends Technology and Language
Nurse Edith Cavell was the antithesis of resentment and hate. As the Stanford University study indicates, when patients are treated with kindness, “when there’s an attempt made to understand them, empathize, convey, listen to and react to their needs-it may result in more rapid healing of wounds, reduced pain, reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, shorter hospital stays,” and wonder of wonders-lower prices. Inside my instance the so called language barrier made no change. All matters heal.