Friday, November 2, 2012

Reflections on this past week

Super storm Sandy and its brutal attack on the east coast of the USA was the major news story this past week, after it swept through Haiti and Cuba causing much destruction there first. It was also the event that dominated most of my waking hours this past week, since I was unable to get in touch with a few people until Wednesday evening. I have now heard from family members and friends who were directly affected by the storm, so I know that they’re all safe. Some are still without power, a few just had power restored today, some others are waiting in long lines at gas stations in order to fill up their cars, and one of my friends has not been able to return to her home in Long Beach, New York because of the extensive damage there. I felt very restless this week; I wanted to help, but could not physically do so from here. And it would not have been possible for me to have traveled there either since most flights into and out of the New York area were cancelled. So what I have managed to do is follow the events and updates related to the storm in great detail, and have been able to share them via email and social media with those who were cut off from all forms for news/internet coverage since Monday evening. The feeling of restlessness has lessened, but is one I remember well from 2001 during the 9/11 days; it bothers me to be so far away from my country when bad things happen there. I don’t know that I could even be of much help; perhaps it’s my imagination working overtime. Nevertheless, the restless feeling remains. So I will donate to the Red Cross and hope that eases my worries and restlessness somewhat. Perhaps it comes down to wanting to serve and to be needed? Sometimes I wonder if that is an indication that my job is not providing me with those opportunities.

On another note, a newsworthy event occurred in Oslo as well this past week. Perhaps not earth-shattering for those who work outside the health sector, but for those who work in it—Bente Mikkelsen resigned her position yesterday as the director of Health Southeast Corporation. This corporation owns the hospital I work for; the past few years have been less than pleasant under her rule, to put it mildly. Rather than dwell on her departure, which is rather farcical in and of itself, I’d rather focus on the potential for a brighter future for the hospital. Hopefully the job she leaves behind will be filled by a person with more emotional intelligence and the ability to think independently, by a person who can give and take, by a person who can admit mistakes and take responsibility for them, by a person who can listen to employees and report their concerns up over in the system. There is always hope.  

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