What were they thinking?


Seriously. What do other people think? As most of you know I spent some time in my local hospital. As a result, I came into contact with a lot of different people, strangers to me. There were the doctors of course and the nurses, patients, cleaning staff, physiotherapists, occupational therapist, technicians, the list is endless.  All those people came together to make my stay, perhaps not enjoyable, but beneficial. And as I looked into their faces, I wondered… were they thinking?

I saw an elderly woman facing an uphill climb, literally. They were teaching her to do stairs again. I saw her face as she looked at the edifice in front of her. I tried to engage her but either she wasn’t in the right place emotionally or she didn’t speak the language. So, I smiled and nodded my head. She didn’t react. I wondered what was going through her mind. Was she sad, annoyed or maybe just indifferent?

I saw man who had lost both of his legs at different points. He didn’t hide his injury nor did he flaunt it. He faced his new reality and he didn’t flinch. He smiled and he joked with the staff. He smiled at me and gave me a thumbs up. It made me feel good. He was not a young man but he wasn’t done with life either.

We often judge other people based on what we see, not on what we know. That does us a disservice. People who look at us can’t know what we’re thinking, what we’re feeling. They only see what we choose for them to see. I think we do it for protection. But by shutting ourselves off, we miss so much.

As we journey through our day, we meet dozens perhaps hundreds of people, and sometimes only one or two. Each person that we interact with is a potential. Potential what you ask? Well, a potential friend, a potential business associate, a potential confidant. We can’t know who or what someone is until we have spent time with them. And perhaps the time we don’t spend with them is the missed opportunity.

I wonder about all the people I met. I know they affected me. I may not know exactly in what way but I believe I am a better person for having gone through the experience and for the people I met. These past weeks are not something I’m going to forget in a hurry and maybe that’s a good thing.

Thank you so much for all the best wishes I received. I may not have mentioned it at the time but it made a difference.




28 thoughts on “What were they thinking?

  1. scifihammy

    So glad to see you back here Pam. 😀
    Your words ring very true – we never know what is going on in someone else’s head, but we do all affect one another. The man with no legs smiling is a lesson to us all. And I am sure your positive attitude will have helped more than a few during your long hospital stay. 🙂
    You reminded me of a hospital stay I had many years ago. Like you said, there were the nurses and doctors etc but the one who stuck in my mind, that I still remember, was the young girl who came round with the tea several times a day. She was so cheery and had such a positive energy she really lifted my spirits. I told her so and thanked her when I left. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Murphy's Law

        Oh! My! Happy Belated Birthday! And what a wonderful gesture that the kitchen staff helped you to celebrate your special day. Isn’t it always the little things that mean so much?

        Wishing you the best of everything as you enter decade #6. Pretty soon you’ll catch up to me……or the measurement of my hips might catch up to your age! Hahahah!! 🎂 ☕️
        🐾Ginger 🐾

        Liked by 1 person

  2. beryljones

    Your comment that we often judge people on what we see, not on what we know is so true. It often leads to prejudice. When we get to know someone, we don’t see the colour of their skin or their disability, we see their inner strengths and weaknesses. We see what makes them laugh and what makes them cry, their likes and dislikes. In short, we see them as human beings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Murphy's Law

    Well said Pam. We don’t take the time to get to know people any more, we just “see” what they “look like” and figure that’s what they “are like”. My heart breaks for the woman who seems to have been isolated from those around her. I hope that has changed by now. The gentleman, however, has the ability, or desire, to connect with people and get on with his life the best way he can. Kudos to him!

    I have no doubt you brightened up the day for patients and staff alike every day you were there, working through your own health issues. And the same way these folks affected you, I have no doubt they each feel the same about you. You couldn’t hide your positive attitude if you tried!

    And I’m just so happy to see Butterflysand in my inbox again!! All is well with the world again! 🤗
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

  4. dweezer19

    You are so right Pam. I think of this every day as I work with all of our patients, both pleasant and more challenging. On most days I am able to look at even the possibly most difficult situations with the thought, “What can I do to turn this around?” Often being friendly or even indifferent in the face of surface aggression somehow can disarm the most volatile personalities. I have even had moments that I felt were a true battle of wills, only to have that patient ask me at the end, “Can I get you next time? You really have been so good.” 🙈Of course you can, of course. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Jill Gear

    So meaningful, Pam… Thank you for sharing… It’s very relatable to me as I go through this anxiety. So many people, so many different journeys…. Hugs, Jill

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan Antion

    It’s always good when we can make a positive difference in someone’s day, even if just for a moment. It’s wonderful when someone make a difference like that in our day. I’m sure you won’t forget this experience. I’m also sure some of those people will remember you.

    I’m with Ginger; so glad that you’re back.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. pensitivity101

    I come in contact with a lot of people even though I’m ‘retired’ now. Having worked with the public and finding some of them miserable, rude and unfeeling, my aim in life is to make at least one person smile every day. I appreciate everyone can’t go around with a sappy smile on their face 24/7, but if one’s day is brightened for just the briefest moment, it has a positive and knock on effect. Good to see you back Pam.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Donna Florack

    You’re right that others only see what we let them see, and we don’t know what they’re thinking. I tend to shut myself off in public because I’m shy, and then I wonder why no one talks to me. I‘d like to be friendly and outgoing, but I’m not.

    Liked by 2 people


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