Saturday, March 7, 2009

Cultural Diversity

I went to two full days of meetings in Hutch this week for work...as part of my continuing ed. The class was on a variety of things, Death and Dying, Ethics, Cultural Diversity, Pharmacology etc. As one of our speakers was talking to us about dropping all judgements about patients and his or her family at the door before we enter their home, room, facility etc...she read "A Perspective of Cultural Diversity". (As to who did the math or if all the facts are correct I don't know but it just caught my attention.)

If the entire earth's population could be shrunk to a town/village of 100 people with all human ratios remaining the same it would look like:

57 Asians
21 Europeans
14 Northern and Southern Western Hemisphere persons
8 Africans
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be non-white
30 would be white
70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian
89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual
6 people would possess 59% of the entire worlds wealth and all 6 people would be from the United States.
80 people would live in substandard housing
70 people would be unable to read
1 would be near death
1 would be near birth
1 person would have a college education
1 would own a computer
When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for both acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.
The following is also something to ponder...If you woke up this morning with more health then illness, you are more blessed then the million who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battles, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pains of starvation you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death...you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep...you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and spare change in a dish someplace...you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If your parents are still alive and still married...you are very rare, even in the United States and Canada.
If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over 2 billion people in the world that cannot read.
ELNEC supercore curriculum

I'm admitting today that when it comes to working with patients that have a history of (or are currently) using drugs, are homosexual, have AIDS etc...I often enter the room judgemental...even when I don't realize it. The perspective above kind of opened my eyes in a different light then what I've been use to hearing at church, not sure why, it just did. It is not my place to judge, God will take care of that and I definitely don't condone the use of drugs, homosexuality etc...but I need to learn to love my patients (and family and friends) no matter what their past is. As a patient's caregiver once told me..."I love her, but I don't have to like some of the choices she's made". Every single person is created by God, in God's imagine.

This is a weird post to me. I haven't posted anything like this but it was on my heart and if I post about it, I think it will help keep me accountable. I am truely Blessed for what I have and I thank God daily for it. Besides the perspective about changing my way of thinking about my patients, family and friends it also reminds me to never take anything for granted. We can be gone in the blink of an eye. Life is too short for me to judge.

1 comment:

Marc and Sarah said...

That's very well said, Jennalee.