Love is...Respect


"Love is patient, love is kind, it does not boast, it is not proud." 1 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV)

As a new nurse, I was given the report on my patient's condition for the day. I was warned by the seasoned nurses about his anger. When I made my rounds, I approached his room with caution. I was nervous and my guard was up, wondering what to expect. Before entering the room, I gently knocked on the door.

I was greeted with a reserved, "Thank you for knocking."

As I made my assessment of his condition, I talked with this older gentleman. He explained that he didn't like the way people came in and out of his room with no respect for his feelings. My knock on the door let him know that I respected his privacy. After this, throughout my shift, I did my best to service him in ways that showed him respect.

I knocked before each entrance to his room; I carefully explained each procedure before it was performed; and I listened as he talked about his life. By the end of the day, he began to open up to me about his true feelings regarding his illness.

The next day when I entered his room, he was very chipper. "I have something for you,"he exclaimed. Then he gently handed me a clipping from the newspaper that read: Love is. . . Respect. He had personalized the message to me by placing my name at the top and his at the bottom. This new nurse was given a big lesson, through this patient.

I kept that clipping and I hung it on my bedroom mirror. Each day as I looked in my mirror, it served me as a daily reminder to respect others.

We all need a reminder of what love is. That is why the apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, chapter, 13 It is known as the 'Love Chapter' of the Bible. There Paul lists the various actions that love consists of. He does not say love is an emotion, but as you read the list, you see that love is an action performed by a motive to do the right thing. I like to read this chapter often, to remind myself how to treat others.

My simple action of knocking on my patients door showed that I respected him. Who would have ever thought that such a simple action would bring about a powerful change?

Annettee Budzban copyright 2004 [email protected]

Annettee Budzban is an author, freelance writer and religion columist. She has been published in anthologies, magazines and on various e-zines. She loves writing for 2theheart, and has many stories in the archives, as well as the new 2theheart book: People Who Make a Difference.

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