Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The value of compassion

Compassion - a deep concern for the suffering of others that comes from a place of understanding. The world needs more of this, we don't need to look any further from the latest headline news for proof. But even in our everyday lives, we need to live and treat each other with compassion. 

Yesterday was the perfect example of how compassion could have made a difference in my life. I've been missing quite a bit of school, especially for the past two weeks because I've been passing large blood-clots out of my bottom and in some serious pain when I'm sitting upright for too long, or when I go from sitting to standing. I've already mentioned it to the doctor who is going to do more testing to find out what's going on with it, but first thing is first and I need to get through my GTube insertion on Thursday. 

The school board is aware of my medical needs and absences, my cardiologist had to send them a letter before I was even allowed to start attending this year and said that "so long as he feels physically up to it that day, it is safe for him to attend". Fast forward two months later, and all of a sudden I get a call saying that if I don't produce a doctor's note BEFORE I go into surgery on Thursday, they are going to cancel my school registration. That also means that I might completely lose my spot in the gifted program. School is everything to me. My school knows that I'm going for surgery on Thursday and will likely be out at least two weeks. Yet the school board is firm in saying that they must have this note. My mom even asked if she could get one when I'm admitted to the hospital on Thursday but they said no. So now my poor mom is left scrambling trying to find a doctor to write a note TODAY because this is the only time she had left to do last minute things before surgery thanks to other appointments. 

I understand that the school board has policies and procedures but I think the way they are enforced needs to reflect the humane values of compassion and respect. A few days is not going to make a difference in the wording of the note. But it is going to give my family the time we need to be able to track down a doctor. There needs to be some flexibility in certain circumstances. It would have made a huge difference in our lives this week because it would be one less stressful thing added to the plate. 

The moral to my story: You don't always know what's going on in the life of the person you are interacting with. By offering kindness, compassion and respect - really basic things that we're all capable of - you can be the difference between pushing someone over the edge and being a "helper". I know that I would greatly prefer to interact with those that can be "helpers". 

*I'm not saying this to be mean to the people involved in this situation, I'm giving this story to highlight a serious flaw with a huge impact and the need for change*

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