I remember going into the projects; a big white guy from the suburbs surrounded by big black guys from the city, and feeling the simmering resentment from the crowd, and seeing the contempt on their faces, and hearing the hate in their voices, but pressing on, and parting the hostile crowd with no more than a command presence and a uniform, and finding the patient whose demeanor may have once carried with it the same outward appearance of hostility as the gang outside, but once in my care relaxed, and surrendered to his fate, and let the learned prejudices be replaced with god given acceptance of all living things, without judgement or cynicism, sarcasm or hate.
Sometimes they were shot, or stabbed, or clubbed to near death, other times it was a diabetic emergency, or chest pains, or a kid with a fever, but every time, without fail, after all of the judging and posturing was over, and it became two people in the back of a bus healing happened, and a connection was made, and the only thing that mattered at that moment was us; patient and provider.
Ferguson Missouri is on the brink of another period of unrest. It will be difficult for the police, firefighters and paramedics there to connect one on one while their city is burning.
But it’s not hard to connect when it’s not. It just takes two sides coming together.
So let’s go.