charleston: Do no Harm

Charleston: Do no Harm

“ Do what will help and not harm. Work for the common good. ..Share as widely as you are able. Speak the message of your heart. Learn as often as you can…Trust the power of love..” Steven Charleston, Daily Facebook Meditation

Wreckage of Twin Towers at Newseum Museum Washington DC  

Wreckage of Twin Towers at Newseum Museum Washington DC

“Do no harm.” That was my prayer every morning as I drove to work at the Children’s Hospital for forty years. That is the oath that physicians take, but every year I became more and more aware of it as I experienced my own mistakes and those of others. I learned painfully there was only one possible answer, and that was to let it be known what I had done if I committed an error and counsel others to do the same.

We get into the most trouble in hiding or attempting to cover up what has happened. We are human. We make mistakes. It is so hard when our mistakes hurt others as they often do in our medical practice.

 One more lesson. I make less mistakes if I try to make decisions with counsel from others. My biggest mistakes have been made when I in my hubris believed I knew exactly what to do without talking to others.  Getting other opinions or help from peers or others involved by the decision can make all the difference.

This is another reason God calls us to community.

That is why having spiritual friends to talk with can make all the difference. When we hear something that has been brewing in our head come out of our mouth as we talk to others, we realize often how it is not the answer. Of course, hearing another’s opinion can also allow us to look at an issue from a very different viewpoint. We are all still learning. Hopefully, we are a work in progress.