Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald: Practice Makes Perfect--July 8, 2008
Do something little
As teenagers, college students, or veterinary students, we are alone with our dreams. Usually we share them with only a few people, but our dreams drive and guide us. They help shape us. More often than not, we create the future we want to face. Our dreams can also cause us some worries. I remember thinking as a student, “Will I get into veterinary school?” Then after I did, I remember thinking, “Will people come to me? Will I be a good veterinarian? Will I be competent? Will I make a difference?” We all embark on our adult lives hoping to do big things, achieve something great, make our mark.
After 25 years in small-animal practice, I have learned that life isn’t about doing something big. So what is it about, you ask. Life is about doing little good things every day. It is about thanking your staff, being patient with your clients and listening to them (even when they are annoying), and calming and being gentle with scared, sick animals. It is about smiling at people. It is about being civil. Little kindnesses are so easy to do—so simple—and they cost you nothing.When was the last time you made someone’s day with a compliment? When did you last help someone solve a problem that had nothing to do with you? When did you last give someone a second chance? (Wouldn’t you like one once in a while?) Life is not at all about doing something big; life is about stringing together fine days of quiet, gentle, good things. That is the secret of being useful, of being kind and helping others. It really isn’t very much about us. It is about linking together a life built of little kindnesses and of service. Get involved in the local science fair, referee girl’s basketball, or volunteer at Career Day. Get out there and do something little. You won’t believe how good it makes you feel.
See you next week, Kev