Last Thursday, the 22nd Feb to be precise I attended my hospital booking for surgery. Over the last couple of years I had discovered a strange lump growing and although back in Dec 06 a biopsy had been performed and revealed it to be a harmless collection of dead cells, in January 07 it was suggested that it should be removed. Therefore, 22nd Feb was the day for the surgery.
The surgery scheduled was described as a day surgery, meaning that either an am or pm session would be booked and performed. My set time was am.
I arrived prompt at 7.30am. After 10minutes I was guided past a row of empty beds and asked to change into the provided reverse tie-up garment. At this stage my nerves were going. The last time I had undergone a general anesthetic was when at the age of 6. Somehow I had got Sulphur poisoning a story for another time! I guess it was the very thought of being injected, put to sleep and then having surgery performed.
The nursing staff, anaesthetists and doctors were outstanding. They all came to see me to explain the process and put my senses at ease.
When it was all was over I was released at 2.40pm the same day. The impact did require some time to help me recover but I could not help thinking of the power of giving.
Interesting, on Sunday 25th February, I watched glimpses of the Heaven and Earth TV show, on BBC 1. They featured Lent This is a Christian practice – traditionally forty days (The forty day period is symbolic of the forty days spent by Jesus in the wilderness and possibly the forty hours he spent entombed) in Lent are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance (the desire to be forgiven). Instead of holding back an activity, it was suggested on the programme that to give is another way of performing Lent.
Sikhs do not partake in fasts or rituals. I did feel that the power of giving or self-less service is something that is both deep and important. One of the core beliefs of Sikhism is to engage in selfless service (Sewa) and help build a loving community life; to be a contributor to society whenever possible; (Wand kay shakna)
Everyday the NHS staff perform a service. Since 1997, the UK Government has offered to treble funding by 2008. Today there are now 32,000 more doctors and 85,000 more nurses, and overall there are over 300,000 more staff working in the NHS. They have to face a wide range of challenges still monetary and emotional. As a patient you hope for the best and they try their best to give it to you.
I wondered what a great place the world would be if we all tried to give rather than take.
The NHS is a great institution that is under a national strain but we should be proud of it and aim to defend its presence.
It is only when we take that we release how much others give from within everyday. A more voluntary, supportive perspective may be a good way for us to give.