Tag Archives: respect

If Everyone Wore a Johnny

IMG_9733 Mary.vintage_sm
This is Mary. I found her photo attached to an application for a job as a nursing assistant to a NH Director of Anesthesia. It was in an old filing cabinet I obtained through a thrift store. I found it interesting that a photo was required. Was that standard practice back in 1948? I wonder if she is still alive. According to other papers in the old filing cabinet, I don’t think she got the job. Did her appearance play a big part in the doctor’s decision?

Although I have been an EMT for over 3 years, becoming an in-patient rehabilitation technician last year has helped me see people through new eyes. Since every patient is wearing a johnny, aka a hospital gown, and have often recently come out of surgery, everyone is on a “level playing field”. Everyone is someone. Engaging them in conversation is the only way to find out who they are, and as for senior patients, who they were as well. I have been amazed by some of the life stories I’ve heard, and I have been so impressed with the hospital staff as they treat every patient with dignity and respect.

My mother once quoted a Japanese proverb that says, “Respect old people and be gentle with children, for you were once one and someday will be the other.”

Mary is elderly now, if she is still alive, and is probably in her 90’s. Did she become a nurse? At some point in her life, she probably wore a johnny herself, and if she had been a nurse, the staff would see just an old lady, until she told them she, too, had been a nurse.  Would that change the way they see her?

We all judge or assess people as a first impression. It’s human nature. It’s part of self-preservation. Although we can’t judge a book by its cover, there are some things that can clue us in as to who they are.

But…

…if everyone wore a johnny, maybe we’d be a little less judgmental, a little kinder, a little more humble, and a bit more real.


Wisdom Wednesday: Service With a Smile

“The kindness is doubled if what must be given is given willingly.”  —Latin proverb

“The kindness is doubled if what must be given is given willingly.” —Latin proverb

Have you ever asked someone to do something for you only to have that someone respond with a heavy sigh, whining, or complaining? If you’re a parent or a teacher, that’s a pretty silly question, isn’t it? What’s even sillier, although less amusing, is when we adults do it to one another. I know we all have bad days and should try to respond with grace when met with a bad attitude, but isn’t it so much sweeter when someone gives and serves cheerfully? And don’t you feel more loved and respected when someone responds happily to a request?

“Cheerfulness gives sweetness to life.” —Filipino proverb

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
—2 Corinthians 9:7

“The kindness is doubled if what must be given is given willingly.” —Latin proverb

“The visible sign of utter love is an undying smile.” —Sri Sri Ravi Skankar

“He gives well and bountifully who accompanies the gift with a pleasing look.” —Latin proverb

“A gift with a kind face is a double grace.” —German proverb

Years ago while dining at a restaurant in Canada, I remember the response given by our waitress when I said, “Thank you.” With a pretty smile and a French accent she replied, “It is my pleasure.” I loved that response, so I adopted it.

“Forget the favors you have given; remember those received.” —Chinese proverb

Sometimes people give or serve in order to receive or to be served. Although we shouldn’t give or serve with selfish motives and a score card, isn’t it funny how people sometimes act as if you owe them for what they have done instead of giving and serving out of love and gratitude for the things you have done for them? Or maybe it’s the other way around.

“Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection.” ―Pindar, Greek poet

“It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding.” —Kahlil Gibran

If you liked this, you might also like:  Wisdom Wednesday: When It’s Never Enough


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