Sunday, July 01, 2007

i want my bottle


I would be very curious to observe myself under pressure. Am I overconciliatory? Patronizing? Overtly hand-wringing? Didactic? Or do I seem all cucumber-cool and sane-alicious, even though there's a small nuclear device detonating in my emotional core? Gee, that'd be swell.

I know I'm not as cool as I'd like to be. I take it personally. I care.

I inherited the 'caring' thing form my parents. In medicine for a heap of decades, my dad has done an amazing job of caring for and about people. I remember driving up to a glass-etcher in Napa, years ago, to pick up the glass mugs he designed and commissioned for the medical group he was leading at the time. "Our Job Is To Care," they said - the simple, yet hauntingly adroit mission statement he'd put forward for the group. I stared at that motto every morning as a gulped my orange juice out of one of them. Honestly, I can't think of a better way to phrase his approach to medicine (and to life as a whole, at that.) He cares so deeply about the people he leads and the people he treats, he appears in my eyes to be a living manifestation of namaste. I got matching 'give-a-crap' DNA from my mom - she has an oil-tanker-sized heart. She's full to bursting of a love generally only read about in religious texts, and she shares it without qualm. (Ask me to tell you about the rats sometime, if you're dubious.) The upshot is this: I can't not care. It's a physical impossibility, even though I wish I didn't. I care about my job, and whether people feel well-treated and respected. I want to help folks that are having a tough time of it. I want to make it better.

I get the nagging feeling, however, that my caring appears as a weakness in my line of work.

Pifflesticks. I can only be me.

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