It was my day off today so decided to walk into the city center and get some food for later. It was a warm day, I had my iPod on as usual, and was in a world of my own. just got into what I call ‘charity gauntlet’, where all the charity workers jump out at you and ask for money or sponsorship, sometimes the local city mission church do a stall, sometimes its the socialists or an animal charity. today i was not sure who was around.
A man approached me and introduced himself, he was pleasant and smiling, he apologised for stopping me and asked how my day was going. He then stated he doesn’t usually dress casual but usually wears robes, then it clicked he was a monk from the local buddhist temple. Usually I don’t stop and talk to the charity workers, unless it’s the singing Big Issue man, but today I felt relaxed and had a feeling it was going to be a pleasant conversation, so I stopped.
He spoke a bit about his faith and what they do, he then asked, what I do for a living. I told him I was a staff nurse at one of the local hospitals. His eyes lit up and he smiled. He seemed delighted that he had met a nurse. Going on he said it was nice to see someone in a job that is selfless, he said we give so much comfort and empathy to others in need without asking for payment, we weren’t there to make money, but to give something back to society. He said it sounded like a hard stressful and sometimes thankless job, but it was also rewarding.
I think we spent about 20 mins talking about his chosen path and what he believed was mine. He seems reluctant to ask for money for their chosen charity, but I gave anyway, as he said ‘from the heart not from the mind.’ Then we wished each other a happy day.
As the day rolled on and evening came, I was thinking of what he said, and it dawned on me, he was telling me something I had forgotten, the true reason why I was nursing, it was more than just a career, it’s a calling, a calling to care for people.
The job had become hard and the in-house politics had damped my enthusiasm for the job, but it took a stranger, a monk to refresh my ideation. The NHS has come under fire and job cuts loom round every corner, but I think I can say I don’t really care that much about that, but I do care that I still have been given the chance to care for the less fortunate ones, who come into our services daily.
I never got to thank that monk, or may never see him again, but I hope he realises he has made an impression on me.
Maybe its the karma he spoke about, just going around.