For over 20 years ...
This poem is written by a 16-year-old girl who was asked to write a spoken word poem for her class project. When I read it I immediately thought of the patients we care for every day. How often do we rush to judgement when the patient comes to the ER and reports that he is seeking care because he has had back pain for 3 months? Labeled as a drug seeker, we dismiss the complaint and ask him to have a seat. Lost in our own bias, we make a quick judgement about the person’s character when, in reality, he may be seeking care because his wife of 10 years just died and he can not afford to miss another day of work. We are in the business of caring for human beings, yet our past experiences hinder our future interactions. I ask you all to read the poem; a poem, that comes from the mind of a young woman who feels she has already seen the heartless and uncaring side of society. Think about the poem when you are in front of the difficult family member or that homeless man seeking medical care on a very cold day. Look for the 2.5 percent in everyone and you will once again transform your practice into what healthcare is supposed to be….a compassionate, healing environment.
The modern penny is made of 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper.
Deemed cheaper and less worthy, the copper is masked behind the more valuable zinc as the two seemingly dissimilar elements
are placed into the mighty Melting Pot, ultimately mass producing a grand total of 7 billion individual pennies.
But what is a penny worth if it has no means to express itself?
We live in a world where a man’s sense is defined by how much cents he has in his wallet,
where only those more wealthy or better connected are elected to have an opinion.
But what kind of a world do we live in that makes a man pay for the price of his own thoughts?
Do not let them define your worth by your pocket size.
Pennies; found tossed carelessly into the streets, rolling, staggering down dark alleyways, and wedged in between pairs of worn out park benches.
The lonely 2.5 percent are found roaming the streets, clad in tattered, urine stained rags, growing mad with their unheard thoughts of individuality,
they beg for morsels of worth, and in return are stripped of their dignity and blamed for their improper use of the opportunities promised by the high standing dollar.
Today’s currency leaves man’s mind left behind to rust and become oxidized with the polluted factory smoke,
constantly pumped into the precious pulmonary veins of a mindless population
while the mindful are treated their privilege from conception and taught that their affluence ascertains to the abundance of their wealth and that that wealth defines the value of the individualistic idea,
but these blinders limit us from seeing
what is happening underneath
every zinc gilded, heads-up penny that you pass on the streets.