don’t just say thank you. say it with their name too!

In the midst of all the stress from finals, I have entertained countless thoughts on bailing on friends and escaping my other commitments that were considered “time wasted that could have been put into studying”. But after gathering my thoughts and courage, I have conquered my demons and avoided cancelling on my other commitments.

So this morning, I found myself grateful to have decided to pull through with my commitments.

Today at the cancer centre, I met a wonderful lady who I got to know over the few hours together. She was a survivor and still going strong. She got to know of my life plans and she was very supportive and reassuring.

The joy from knowing that she believes I’m on the right track, was translated into a more delightful mood. So as I interacted with the patients, I was really joyful and kind. The slightest bit of rejection was fleeting and did not hit me at all. Further down the ward, a patient thanked me and even said my name. I was really surprised that that hit me so hard. I was used to receiving thanks from patients but hearing it with my name made it so personal and impactful. :’)

Once again I was reminded why I do these things despite being busy with school and other commitments. It keeps me in check and prevents burn outs. There is a simple joy that knowing the patients are cared for, that satisfies me to the bone.

So hey, next time you thank someone, if possible, say it with their name too 🙂 you might just make their day!!

mistletoe; heaven on earth

I know what you’re thinking, and no, this isn’t a love entry. Mistletoe is a flower, that signifies a meeting place where no violence takes place. In this piece, this meeting place will be St. Luke’s Hospital.

It’s beautiful. The place may look old, and run down on the outside, but inside, it’s beautiful and high tech. It even smells like citrus everywhere I went.

I walked in nervously, but I found my way to the meeting room and knocked on the door. A man that could be mistaken for a hongki, opened the door and welcomed me warmly. He politely asked me to take a seat while he finished his meeting with a woman on 6 beautiful acrylic paintings. Let’s call this man “John”.

Shortly after his meeting was done, an elderly Indian lady came in. She was clothed so well- you could easily tell she was of a certain social class. She sat down gracefully and sat like a queen as she proceeded to converse with John with gentle mannerisms and soft gestures. I came to learn that she was a patient of St Luke before, was an author, and with her retirement, she wanted to volunteer and contribute back as she thought that she was well taken care of as a patient. Let’s call her “Jane”. She went on to get to know me and she was very fond of the idea that a young student would take her time out to be at the hospital twice a week. “There should be more people like you.”, “So kind of you to do this.”, “You will be a great person one day.”- these are some of the things she kept repeating on and on during the whole meeting. I tend to shun away from such compliments but I decided to take them and recognize my own beauty within. People closest to me have been telling me the same things but I guess it coming from a stranger who has lived longer with more wisdom makes me more confident that the compliment was genuine and impactful.

I loved how the whole time while John took me to the rehab center and the wards, he emphasized a lot on preparing the elderly to function better after discharge and to help them have a positive outlook on life. They go through an hour of exercise everyday and they go through motor exercises and art activities to discover new hobbies and skills, which is more than what the renowned hospitals offer. I admire how Jane and John loved being in this place. I loved how many of them enjoy what they are doing. It’s hard work, it really is.

Today was truly a humbling experience. It made me more inspired to study harder and give back more. It reminds me of the career path I want to take and the commitment required to achieve it. I don’t mind living my life always serving others. People ask me what do I get from this. I always just tell him “The joy of giving is priceless.”. It really is :’)