Be the CHANGE!
I’m not sure if you know this, but part of being a healthcare professional in South Africa requires of you to complete a community service year or two, before you can practice within your profession in South Africa. Although I’m not at liberty to disclose where and how I completed my community service year. I’ve felt this absolute need to discuss aspects of it with you. I’ve been in conversation with a number of students and therapists working in government settings as of late and there appears to be a general feeling of discouragement.
If I’m being completely transparent I equally loved and hated my community service year. I was inspired by new patients and other healthcare professionals every day, but also felt that I completely lost the battle of trying to change a broken system. One of the toughest decisions I had to make, was to step out of public service to pursue a career in private practice, merely because I felt that trying to fix a broken system, started to break me. I ‘gave up’ in a sense and although, at times, I regret not hanging in there, only now I can clearly see that all roads led me to this place.
So why this topic and why now? Just last night I watched this new series on Show Max – New Amsterdam which took me back to my community service year. It’s a medical drama and I’m only at episode three, anyway, it plays off in a state hospital in America, where a new director of the hospital has been appointed, the 5th one in 5 years and he is determined to bring change. In his first speech, he ‘sort-off’ says the following to his co-workers (I can’t remember his exact words); We’ve stopped trying to fix the system because it’s been broken for too long, but we forget that the system is comprised out of people and although we might not be able to change the system, we can change ourselves as people, in turn influence other people and ultimately change the system. Yea…. I know… MIND BLOWN right? How have I never thought of it like that?
I’ve probably read the quote, ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ a thousand times, but only now it makes sense. I had this moment of clarity. You see, sometimes being brave means being bold enough to be different, choosing NOT to conform. To NOT accept the system. If we chose to lose hope in our public service, we chose to lose hope in our people and that’s why Brave Development chooses NOT to give up, but to do everything in our power to aid, assist and enhance the systems that we currently have.
To work with people, the actual beating hearts behind the systems and so, hopefully, instil change. Having said that, what if you did the same? You CAN make a difference, one person, one piece at a time, until everything falls into place. There might be set-backs, there might be push-backs, but don’t lose heart soldier, it might take an army, but if we hold fast to a future of hope, it can and will be done.