Today I have been well looked after in the Day Procedure Unit at the Tyrone County Hospital. My left ear has been giving me some trouble for the past year and the ENT consultant wanted me to have a good sleep while he takes a look at it.
Being born with a cleft palate and hair lip, I have had many corrective operations to make me as good looking as I am today! Seriously, I can not thank enough all the nurses, doctors, consultants and speech therapists that have helped me over the years to live the life I can.
It is all to easy to lament the shortcomings of the NHS at times, to criticise staff if they get it wrong or to complain about waiting lists. I know some folk have had bad decisions made about their health treatments and have suffered as a result. I know that there is always more that can be done, improvements can and need to be made to keep up with new discoveries in medical science.
Prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes and this is where I would heavily invest our resources. This is why our environment is so important to us. We need a good rural environment to produce healthy food to eat. We need a good town environment to promote healthy activities. We need a good social environment to promote healthy relationships and we need a good working environment to promote a healthy mindset.
I believe God shows us through nature and the bible, that we are to be good stewards of the environments around us. This means knowing the balance between free will and responsibility. Between rights for ourselves and respect for others. If we can find the right balance, we can release so much more of ourselves for the benefit of others. Try not to be afraid of being wrong or of failures, (I am very familiar with both these elements), but through them learn the lesson for yourself and teach others. You will be doing this all your life and there will be many repeats.
Last night I watched some of the debate between Corbyn and Smith in a faith forum setting as part of their party leadership campaign. Both candidates professed no particular faith of their own but recognised that much of the socialist Labour movement in Britain has its roots in faith and that many of their policies are an outworking of that faith. The emphases of the NHS needs to be about care and not profit.
How do I feel today? Very blessed to have been born with a cleft palate. It has taught me I need others to develop me, to mould me into better person. It has shown me all the good and wonderful aspects of our caring nature. It has taught me that I need to make to most out of the opportunities that come my way to help others.
I may never look too good or talk too wise but so long as folk are willing to read these few ramblings of words I have a responsibility to teach what I have learned.