Friday, August 21, 2009


Today in the church's bible study, we were looking at the fruit of Kindness in our series of the Fruit of the Spirit. We looked at the example of King David showing kindness to Mephiboseth (2 Samuel 9), a descendant of Saul and Jonathan. This story is certainly remarkable, given the fact that Saul had always wanted to get rid of David. David had every reason to get rid of the last descendant of his enemy Saul but he did not. He honored the covenant of friendship he made with Jonathan. In what ways can we show kindness to our Mephiboseth?

Nyin was sharing about the hard time she had during her housemanship time in hospitals. House officers (HOs) being intimidated and "bullied" by medical officers and specialists are the norms rather than exceptions in many hospitals here. But I told the medical students in that bible study that we don't have to behave like that.

They don't have to behave like the way they had been treated before as if to take revenge once they are "promoted" from house officers to medical officers (someone in the grouop said "HO" means "Hamba orang", whereas "MO" means "menyuruh orang"). We, as Christians, can break that chain in our own little ways. Yes, HOs are fresh graduate and they should be taught properly with discipline. But there are many ways to achieve that objective without having to "dehumanizing" them to some degree or another - being shouted around, being made the scapegoat, being asked to do unrelated tasks like buying lunch for MOs, even being taken advantage of even by senior nurses to complete certain tasks, in short, "taking the role of the bottom of the food chain"). We need to remember the fact that HOs are there to learn too.

But the last question of "Think of the people who have been especially kind to you. In what ways have we benefited from their kindness?" strikes me. In line with the topic conversation of being housemen in hospitals, I remembered of the first few days of me working as a house officer. I was being greeted, shown the way and orientated by a Malay lady senior HOs (out-going HO in her 3rd posting; to be promoted to be MO). She happened to be my senior in Universiti Sains Malaysia too during undergraduate days. It was significant - because being new and alone, just starting work can indeed be frightening. It goes to show that a little act of kindness goes a long way and it goes beyond any cultural or racial barrier. The question is - are we willing to show that extra act of kindness? Let's start with ourselves.

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