Happy New Year From Nurses With Heart!
One of my favorite recaps of the year is always Google’s summary of what was searched. Google search is like looking at what your local community is selling on Craigslist – it is a diverse cross-section of what the population is in interested in, searching for, and afraid of. This year’s most common search was “how…” from how do hurricanes form to how to watch an eclipse – we as a technological population turned to the internet when life was confusing or full of misinformation to find some sort of meaning to ease our days.
A Maelstrom of a Year
2017 was certainly a difficult year for many people. It held the record for deadliest amount of mass shootings in the United States, natural disasters occurred worldwide on a scale never before seen, and the tumultuous political and social climate made it hard to predict what was going to happen next.
We lost many great figures as well, including the fearless Bruce McCandless II who completed the first untethered flight in space. Veteran war correspondent Clare Hollingsworth who broke the news that World War II had begun died at age 105. We also lost Sue Grafton – writer of may a mystery and will always be present as a crossword puzzle answer (AISFOR). The world will be slightly quieter without rockers Chuck Berry, “Fats” Domino, and Tom Petty. And the silver screen will feel slightly emptier without the likes of the original superhero Adam West, one of many iterations of Doctor Who’s John Hurt, and the modern TV maven, Mary Tyler Moore.
But instead of focusing on the sadness and strife of 2017, I would like to return to the Google search of “how…”. There were some pretty incredible medical treatments created in 2017 to answer the questions of
– “how…” do we grow a fetus outside the body? (In a bag!)
– “how…” our microbiome does so much more than regulate our gut? (It helps our brain!)
– “how…” to use fish skin to help enhance wound care practices? (It’s not just for dinner!)
There were also some pretty incredible people who tried their best to make life better for people around them. First responders who relentlessly fought fires, neighborhoods who brought supplies to those devastated by floods, and religious communities that helped those of opposite belief after they lost members of their congregation. While it felt like tragedy was the resounding figure of 2017, the world world responded positively in some pretty incredible ways.
Building on these altruistic acts and our Google search of “how…” perhaps we can make 2018 a better year for all. Make 2018 your year of “how…” – “how…can I improve the life of my family?”, “how…can I make my community better?”, and “how…can I help my neighbors”. Research shows that participating in charitable acts improves your overall mental health – big or small! So Nurses With Heart is asking you to meet one simple challenge: answer one helpful “how…” for every month of 2018. Join us as we answer at least one “how…” every month and work to better ourselves and our community.
Take note of what made 2017 so hard and use the experiences to build up positivity in the world around you. The human mind has a tendency to dwell on the negative and blur the positive aspects of life. But it is important to remember how we overcame our struggles and use those skills to troubleshoot 2018’s inevitable problems and make them less daunting.
Questions about “how…” to get started? Check out this great list of activities you can participate in to better your community: 60 Ways to Better Your Community
In closing, we welcome 2018 with this quote from T.S. Eliot:
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
2018 is your blank slate – “how…” are you going to use it?