Infinite well

By: Fatima Ignacio Gimenez - @inquirerdotnet - Columnist/Philippine Daily Inquirer | July 17,2023 - 06:30 AM

Can you count the number of times that you received sincere words of appreciation for things that you have done that to you were nothing out of the ordinary? I am quite sure of three things: no individual has kept a tab, or has not received any in his lifetime, and no one comes away from such an exchange untouched. You would have to be made of steel, for kind words will always have the power to uplift, inspire, and revive a tired spirit, most especially when it comes unexpectedly. Allow me to share first-hand experiences that will hopefully bring a sense of rebirth of purpose, for those who feel that they have reached a state wherein there is nothing more left to give.

In the past week, several individuals unknowingly refilled a tank that was fast running out of gas. A little overwhelmed by the things lined up, I was close to experiencing exhaustion which was more than the physical kind, having to juggle responsibilities, advocacies, deadlines, and expectations. Was this what they call a burnout and was there a need to step back and leave a little room to come up for air in order to replenish reserves to enable giving? God must have seen and heard and decided to give answers in the space of two days. In His own unique and unconventional fashion, He managed to keep me from falling into a state of donor depletion by providing and exposing me to situations that were reflective of the inherent goodness of people.

Call time. Everyone was gently reminded to be in the building by 8:15 a.m. for the press conference. For the first time in three years, the Society was to hold a face-to-face meeting with partner organizations and the media, for the launching of the dengue integrated program. Being part of the panel, we all had to be prepared to do several things. First, we had to bring everyone up to date on the current dengue situation and why there was an urgent need for a call to action. Second and more importantly, we had to discuss the steps that have been taken to address the problem and provide future action plans. In that hour and a half, we were made aware of the contributions not only of the organizations present but also of the tireless efforts of individuals who had been silently working at the community level to be able to reach our target audience. One participant who was a member of the board of trustees took me aside and with tears in her eyes shared that she couldn’t believe that such people still existed. I assured her that yes, there were still many generous hearts left.

Research. She needed to come up with 247 participants for her research, a knowledge, attitude, and practice survey on the current antimicrobial stewardship program in the hospital. This was a requirement in order for her to be able to graduate and she was more than a little apprehensive about being unable to hit her target within the timeline set. Initially, she had only 50 respondents and the clock was ticking. Being resourceful, she decided to take a more direct and personal approach beyond distributing the survey online. Sensing her dilemma, her co-fellows, pediatric residents, the consultant, and the nursing staff willingly helped out, with some personally accompanying her while she made her rounds. Getting into a discussion with her during the latter part of the week of the data collection, she shared that she felt so grateful to be in such a kind community for, despite the heavy workload, people still took time to participate. Needless to say, she hit her objective.

Having been both a witness and a participant in such interactions left me a little bit guilty for almost succumbing to donor fatigue. How can one plead exhaustion when others despite their many concerns still manage to give?

The well of goodness in each and every one of us might at times be endangered from drying up, either from disappointment or lack of reaffirmation. Take time to become more aware of how God speaks to us through people. People provide the words that will keep your tank full.


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TAGS: dengue, well

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