Letters: We need to exercise kindness

Posted 5/19/21

I am not quite sure what prompted me to write an editorial letter to the local paper as I have never done this before; however, I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about and talking with my patients about kindness. 

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Letters: We need to exercise kindness

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I am not quite sure what prompted me to write an editorial letter to the local paper as I have never done this before; however, I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about and talking with my patients about kindness. 

It has been a hard year for everyone and each of us have hurt at some point in our own ways.  From worrying about own health and the health of others, to watching either intimately or from afar, so many people and businesses suffer, to experiencing hurt socially, racially and financially - we have a lot of healing ahead of us.

We all missed out on things this year, lost opportunities to connect, and had fewer moments to just breath; however, we need to focus on the slivers of light that were part of this whole experience- the special moments around a firepit we had with the few people in our bubble, the new meals we tried (and maybe failed!) to cook because we needed to do something to mix it up, seeing the beautiful gardens created by our neighbors and watching these gardens change with the seasons - we had never noticed the small details before because we were not walking the same circles over and over again…

As we move forward, it is important to shift the mindset from grieving about all the things we lost and missed out on and focus on to the things that lie ahead.  We cannot get back the graduation that was converted to a virtual platform, or the wedding guest list that shrunk, or the winning soccer season that never happened.  We can, however, embrace the moments that we have now and those that lie in our future. 

As we take off our masks, I implore everyone to overuse the smiles that have been hidden – and not just on our friends and colleagues, but on all people with whom we come into contact.  As we are able to be within six feet of strangers, let’s genuinely check in with each other. 

We are out of practice with interacting with others and it is time to work hard to get these skills back.  We need to respect that being in this has been hard and that coming out of it will also be hard- we are all still processing.  I have spent more time this year than ever just listening to my patients and being there with them as this is what many of them have needed more than any medical advice that I could offer.  We need to be there for each other. I wish for all of you kindness, healing and space without judgement. 

Kathryn P. Trayes, MD
Chestnut Hill

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