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Living like it’s 9/12 again

 In Atlas

Among all the posts remembering 9/11, one stood out for me.

I miss 9/12. I would never want another 9/11, but I miss the America of 9/12. Stores ran out of flags to sell because they were being flown everywhere. People were Americans before they were upper/lower class, Jewish/Christian, Republican/Democrat. We hugged people without caring if they ate Chic-Fil-A or wore Nikes.

There was a kindness to 9/12 that I hadn’t really seen in my lifetime. My dad was a Vietnam Vet; on top of the PTSD that he never talked about, he had to deal with how his fellow Americans treated him when he got back from the war. That stuck with him. I could tell as I was growing up that he had really never let that go. It’s possible that’s where my interest in history came from, trying to understand why things happened the way they did during that time. Why Americans treated each other so badly during a time that should have united them.

I hear it a lot in our line of work too. Sometimes there isn’t much kindness, even though the nursing profession is deeply rooted in it. It’s super easy for an agency to get caught up in the economics of 13 weeks of a contract and forget that there is a person treating patients on the other end. I heard it over and over again this past weekend at TravCon from nurses with other companies. “My recruiter only calls me to yell at me.” I was astounded at how many times this came up. At the same time, we were asked by a number of companies how we can attract so many nurses to our pre-show events. Or how we built such amazing brand loyalty. Do they not see the connection? Kindness doesn’t always equal profit – maybe that’s their problem? Doing the right thing means losing money in the short-term sometimes. That’s true on both ends. But doing the right thing and kindness go hand in hand.

One of my favorite guys to watch on the web right now is Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s been talking about kindness for a while now, and recently he wrote “Think about it. How many times have you done something that’s affected a person’s life entirely based on how you felt about them?” He went on to say “and when you come from that place, you’ll get more opportunities than you know what to do with.” This past weekend, my heart was full. The love and support from every nurse we met in Las Vegas was almost overwhelming. Living and working everyday with kindness, compassion and understanding isn’t a weakness. In our line of work, it’s a positive force for good that has driven us forward. It’s the bigger picture that matters. It’s like living every day like it’s 9/12 again. From the smallest gestures to the largest, they all make a difference. All of us could be a little more kind. All of us could live again like we did on 9/12.

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