The medical team, collected and placid, applies the best of civilization’s medical know-how and technology with amazing effectiveness, striving to preserve the quality of life and often defying death to do so.
Initiated in a surgical or Intensive Care waiting room, strangers share their respective ordeals, comfort each other through the setbacks, and celebrate the progress. Tied by the vulnerability of being human, so exposed within the hospital, they create community.
I can think of no other institution where humanity’s highest accomplishments and aspirations, the goodness of people, and spontaneous community play out in so many unsung stories every day.
Grant, my 12-year-old son, is playing in the local Cal Ripken baseball league this spring, the first time he’s played baseball in three years. Eight games into the season, he hadn’t had a hit, either being walked or striking out each time he was at bat. This afternoon, during game nine, he crossed the threshold of self confidence, earning a double with a solid hit to center field.
One of Grant’s coaches, who was out of town on business and missed the game, called from Chicago tonight to congratulate him. Thanks, coach. That was a very classy thing to do.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou