We live within a four-minute drive of the local hospital, which also has a large medical office building attached to it.
I drive past these buildings several times a week, usually on the way to the gym or Dunkin’ Donuts, and I often try to look at the faces of the people walking by and wonder what their story is.
Are they employees? Is the person a nurse, a doctor, a medical technician, a pharmacist, an administrator, a food services worker, a maintenance worker, or security? Do they all realize how important the work is that they are doing; do they enjoy the work that they are doing?
Are they going in for a doctor’s visit? If so, are they about to get some life-changing news when they see their doctor? Will it be good news, like a pregnancy or cancer remission? Or will it be news concerning a serious illness?
Are they at the hospital to visit a friend or loved one? Will it be a happy visit, or one that leaves the person feeling a bit depressed?
Is it a salesperson, hoping to close a big deal that day?
Or a volunteer?
When I think of hospitals and doctors’ offices, I tend not to think of them as happy places. Usually I’m thinking illness and pain and sadness.
So when I drive past these buildings, I try to remember to offer up a silent prayer of good luck to everyone I see, as well a prayer of gratitude for my health and the health of those I love.
It only takes 30 seconds to drive past the buildings, and I know that in five minutes I’ll forget the faces of those I saw, but those few moments serve as a great reminder of how precious, and fragile, life can be.