It’s February. I’ve always liked this month because it feels like we are starting to get over the ‘hump’ of winter. As the month opens, the famous groundhog from my home state emerges and gives his pronouncement. We celebrate President’s Day, Black History Month. The short month moves along, and the next thing you know, it is March when we can really start to look forward to spring!
And, of course, February is the month of love. I can hear you thinking….the dean is going to write a blog about love? Yes. Yes, I am. Not romantic love, but the kind of love that I believe motivates us in the work we do. We are all here at BSOM because we feel a purpose higher than ourselves, to create the next generation of physicians to serve society, to heal patients, to make new discoveries to make peoples’ lives better. At the same time, I realize that using the word “love” in the context of our work can sound a little touchy-feely. But if we define love as simply wishing for others to be well and to reach their fullest potential, it starts to make sense. We do what we do in our work at BSOM out of a place of love and compassion. Our love for the institution makes us want it to be better, our love for our students and residents makes us want them to thrive and succeed, and our love for our community makes us want to make their health care better. Of course, love also means that we might do hard things—have tough conversations with someone if what they are doing is not aligned with their fullest potential, for example, or confront needed changes in our institution so that it can be better.
To me, love also means recognizing that we are all interrelated and connected, and so it causes us to act towards others in that recognition – with compassion and understanding. If we make this central to our culture, we will succeed. I think we are all at our best when we do our daily work with a keen eye to purpose and love in our hearts. I will end with a quote by Mother Teresa, “The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action.” May we come to work each day with a strong sense of purpose, knowing that we all make a difference.
Thanks for all you do, and Happy Valentine’s Day!