Most of you are well aware that I have a Facebook page. It, along with this blog, is one of the most satisfying activities I engage in because it allows me put my thoughts and feelings and those things I so deeply care about out there to hopefully help others see where we need to go as a nation and people and cut through the misconceptions and self-righteous condemnation that seems to have inflicted itself on our nation and its people.
Just today, I published a poem I've seen before. It's attributed to an elderly nursing home patient in Scotland. You can find it on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/allen.c.dexter
A lady saw my posting and had this to say about it:
"I'm in tears yet I know this poem, I guess the origins will never be known since I knew it to be from a woman in Scotland in a nursing home. I posted it a few yrs. ago. I trained in being a nursing assistand & licensed to give out medication. I treated all of them, tended them, Vets & more. At the end of each clinical I did every weekend, we had a group meeting with our RN teacher. To share thoughts, etc. I broke down crying. The room was silent, I felt foolish but my RN teacher was wonderful, she cared truly. She asked me, "Blondie (my nickname via her), why are you crying?" I told her, "I saw too many wrongs, everything's too rushed, I saw what I felt was abuse, I found it heartbreaking. I was shadowing a nursing assistant, she took me by the arm into a bathroom, where she said, can I just cry for a moment on your shoulder & then I'll be okay..." I told her of course, she cried, she hugged me saying, we can never care enough for them, there's no time, they could hire more, but they don't, none of us can complete anything right. Then it was back to work, I promised to never say a word or tell her name. My clinicals & classes lost me 20 lbs., there's no time to stop from 6-2:30, that was my clinical shift every Saturday & Sunday. No time, no time for them in the right way, no time for me. I couldn't go back when I graduated. I had fallen into depression over what I saw & how the best of facilities, high tech, still wouldn't spend extra for our Vets & all. It made no sense to me. To this day I'm haunted by it all, what I saw, what I felt, how difficult it all really is & all lands on nursing assistants, the RN's do paper work, LPN's are being phased out, nursing assistants do all & are paid a fraction of RN's. Want to be thin? Do what I did, I was thin as could be during all my nursing assitant program & the price I paid was to see horrible conditions & ongoing frustration, for me, depression. I will put on my photo in honor of this, of me at 5 in the morning or so, getting ready for my weekend clinicals at the Veteran's Nursing home. You name it, I saw it, our system is flawed, no one would want to be in one of these, you will never get the care or cleanliness, you want or desire in your personal life. The rules are, set by whom? Higher ups who don't care, but I did what I did, I was horribly sad about it & I am disappointed in how we run our nursing facilities, because, trust me, I worked in the best, the one here, they call the cream of the crop, yet it too, was neglectful, if they hired more, it wouldn't be so neglectful but its all about money. Sorry for this long story, it touches me deeply."
It touches nearly everyone who really cares about their fellow human beings. I think nearly everyone really feels they care, yet I have to shake my head in bewilderment when I read or hear some statements such as were tossed around in the recent campaign. When I hear sarcastic, condescending comments about the "47%" and desperate people depending on food stamps as their only means to get food or medicaid for desperately needed medical care while they claim to be followers of that teacher who extoled the "good Samaritan" and told people to sell off their great wealth and give to the poor, My only reaction has to be, "What hypocrisy."
We have a long way to go as a society, and we've lost some ground the last few decades. Anyone who wants to hatefully denounce me as a "liberal," a "socialist" or whatever is welcome to have at it. I'm not going to join their unaware hatefulness toward their fellow human beings. I will continue to add my small voice for compassionate, fellow-human-loving changes we as a people once embraced and under which we grew and prospered as no nation ever before did.