After two more 10 hour days of work, I'm beginning to see clearer how fine a line I walk with even the slightest actions/words. Compassion can become a failure to treat every one fairly, and subtly, you can contribute to unhealthy attitudes of people without even realizing it. It's not simple to learn how to listen to people and respond when you're not sure how much of the story is true, or if at all. There are so many delusioned minds, young men fighting over a manipulative woman who's playing them both..and yet they both declare she is a wonderful person. Some days I'm afraid to do the simplest thing, like letting someone into the kitchen to cook, because of how others will perceive it. The mind games you have to play with yourself in order to rightly act is a challenge.
How do you treat the guy who gets upset because you're leaving work, and the resident who thinks he's staff?
How do you treat a person fairly, with dignity and respect when they complain that they can't eat your fries because they don't like the black pepper you put on them..when it was their own fault you did it in the first place?
How do you get your head around the fact that the incident is a big part of their world?
How do you look at the man with his ketchupy tongue hanging out of his mouth and truly believe that he has just as much worth as you?
And then, as I do the dirty dishes (again) and walk past the doors that hide smelly rooms but not the smell, I pray that God will give me another measure of energy to laugh with them, to respond with love to the names I get called when I don't give in, to put aside busyness and talk to a woman about her "baby" (a doll) that's named Sarah.
It's like nothing I've ever done - and yet as I walk through the halls, arrange appointments, help to make a bed, give out medication, listen to a story of attempted suicide, and cook supper I know I am truly doing something. And knowing that makes it worth every moment of the challenge.