I am lucky enough to have three great kids ages 8 and 6(x2). They are not the smartest, fastest, strongest or most athletic kids I have ever seen. However, they are three of the most kind children I have ever met. Some of my proudest moments are when I see them go out of their way to show kindness and compassion to their peers. I hope that as a parent I am able to encourage and foster this kindness.
As a teacher of future physical therapists, I also hope that I can encourage students to never lose their kindness. Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily grind of counting by 8, dealing with productivity standards, providing EBP, producing defensible documentation etc… that we forget the importance of kindness. As Neal Maskrey pointed out in this recent article, being kind and showing compassion is not necessarily our automatic response to patients. Just as we have to put a conscious effort into our clinical skills and knowledge, we have to make a conscious effort to treat patients with kindness (even when it is difficult). So before you get ready to walk into the room with that difficult patient, take a breath, put on a smile and be kind.