Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The "Gray" Shades

Intuitively or not, whether we decide to press the snooze button one more time to staying up an extra five-minutes to watch a YouTube video, we are constantly making choices. Despite all promises made the previous night of waking up early to exercise, the only exercise I get in the morning is via my fingers... hitting the snooze button numerous times. I then take a relaxing, hot shower followed by a ritual ten-minute stare of my closet before ultimately wearing a college shirt and track pants. Everyday. True story. 

Some days I get lucky and the aforementioned decisions only affect me. But everyday is a new day, and I'm not so lucky. Without even realizing it, some of our everyday choices affect those around us. My mom and I recently spent some time at IKEA. When we first moved to Katy, my parents decided the best way to spend weekends were at furniture stores. My brother and I could run around, jump on beds, what more could a kid (or two) ask for :P! Some stores even had a kid-watch station so we wouldn't cause trouble stay occupied. Anyways, we loved going to IKEA, not just because of all their awesomeness, but also because they had amazing vegetarian lasagnas! And I truly mean amazing! So mommy and I were really excited about the amazing lunch we were about to have. However, we were dismayed to learn that they no longer served the lasagnas. And while we were trying to understand the vegetarian options, the servers had a horrible attitude. Ugh! Their unnecessary attitude completely ruined my excitement about lunch. Right as we were about to finish our meal, one of the IKEA workers was in such a positive mood, he instilled some of that positive energy into me, and I was a changed person. Just like that! 

Something as simple as smiling at a stranger or cutting an individual off on the road could drastically change someone's mood. In medicine, our choices hold ever more weight. A simple decision can lead to bring in a new life or ending one prematurely. Our words can tear a family apart or bring tears of joy. Our actions truly impact the life of our patient and everyone involved, whether we like it or not. Another important aspect is no matter how many books we read, how many years of experience we gain, there is no escaping the reality that we will not always be correct. Most of the time, there is no such thing as black and white - it's ALL GRAY. And I think that's why it's important to embrace each new day with a smile and positive attitude. It gives us the courage to move on, and influences others to do the same.

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