Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Perspective Adjustment

My daughter came home from school one day this past week with an itchy, red eye. We’ve never experienced the “joys” of pink eye in our family so I didn’t immediately identify it as that. The next morning, however, it was unmistakable.

Sad that she had to miss school, we made the trek to the doctor’s office. I say “trek” because our doctor is a half hour drive from home. We arrived only to find one available chair in the waiting room. Every other chair was filled with coughing, sneezing, or crying little ones. “Oh great” I thought… just what we need, more germs!

It had been a while since our last visit to the doctor so I had to spend time filling out all kinds of paperwork so that they could update our records. Then, we waited… and waited! Over an hour past our appointment time, we finally got called back to see the doctor. She proceeded to ask me 3 questions, look into my daughter’s eye and then announce “yep, it’s pink eye!" It took a total of 5 minutes! While we waited for the prescription to be written, I found myself feeling extremely frustrated. I mean, I put my day on hold, spent way too much time driving & waiting, only to hear the diagnosis I already knew. What a hassle!

Then, I found myself thinking of the millions of children in Africa who wish they could drive half of an hour to the doctor’s office, wish they could wait for an hour in a comfy chair while watching a Disney movie on T.V., wish they could fill out mounds of paperwork so that a doctor would actually be able to keep “records” for them, and wish they could top off the whole experience with the medicine that would help them get well AND a lollipop on top of that! Wow – what those millions of kids wouldn’t give to have an experience ½ as good as mine that day.

Suddenly, I couldn’t feel frustrated anymore. In fact, I felt rather spoiled. When we left the doctor’s office, I knew we’d be enjoying a nice lunch together and then going home to a warm, clean, beautiful home where the only sickness we have to deal with at the moment is easily treatable and would be gone in a few short days – thanks to a trip to the doctor’s office.

I call moments like that “perspective adjustments”. I’m so blessed to be able to call myself even a small part of Hoops of Hope, knowing that so many people are being helped because so many of you are unwilling to sit by idly while knowing others suffer. Thousands now have access to medical help because of you! Have we helped everyone who needs it? Obviously not. Is there still more that needs to be done? Absolutely! As long as we all keep looking beyond our own circumstances and taking time for more “perspective adjustments” then I believe we can (and will) make a huge difference in the lives of many!


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