The act of helping someone else is not only a gift to the receiver, but it often returns a gift to the giver and perhaps this is the ultimate definition of ‘fulfilment’.
Many enter medicine driven by a desire to help others. The ability to help and heal represent truly special gifts. The act of helping someone else is not only a gift to the receiver, but it often returns a gift to the giver and perhaps this is the ultimate definition of ‘fulfilment’. That indescribable feeling that lifts your spirits when you know you have made a significant difference to someone else, even by a seemingly small act.
Each year through our Grants Programs we support a small band of medical students and doctors to achieve their dreams of using their knowledge, gaining new knowledge and experiencing the world. Each sets out with a desire to use the knowledge and experience gained to make themselves a better doctor for their communities.
The reports provided to us about their placement experiences often reveal the achievement of these dreams but also the unexpected gift of ‘fulfilment’, found in the act of giving their medical gifts to others.
This is best demonstrated in the words of Emily Rayers, an Elective Grant recipient from Griffith University:
“When I am feeling tired and unmotivated in the middle of a night shift in a buzzing hospital, I need only imagine the chorus of children’s voices cheering me on my way to work at Kiunga Hospital (Western Province, New Guinea) and I am reminded what a grand privilege it is to be bestowed with the skills and knowledge to make some positive difference in the lives of others.”
It is interesting to reflect on the personal benefits we can derive from giving to others which can include; energy, drive, passion, purpose, fulfilment, contentment, confidence, pride and importantly, perspective in our own lives.
Beyond the grant recipients themselves, the team at MIGA also take great delight in the achievements of the individual recipients and of the Grants Programs in delivering benefits across a wide spectrum. Our staff feel a great sense of pride in the organisation’s support of educational opportunities for the grant recipients. The reports provided by the recipients describe their experiences, both medical and personal within the communities they visit. They often present a human face and sometimes alternative perspectives to what we might see on the TV news. But their reports always remind us just how much needs to be done, how lucky and sheltered we are in Australia and gives some perspective to our perceived problems.
In a materialistic and increasingly self-centred world we need reminders that we all have gifts to give, that those gifts are often free to give, and that in those small selfless acts there lies a number of gifts for us – and perhaps some healing too!