Written by Nurse James
I was talking with a friend recently about my position as a Nurse at the Drop-In Centre.
The conversation went something like this.
Friend: Aren’t you scared to work there?
Me: No, should I be?
Friend: Yes! There are so many criminals and addicts there, so much crime happens there.
Me: Happens where?
Friend: At The Drop-In Centre.
Me: Inside the Drop-In Centre?
Friend: Well yeah, aren’t you scared for your safety and your life? So many drug dealers and prostitutes and criminals.
Me (again): Where, inside the Centre?
Me: Are we talking about the same place? The Drop-In Centre is filled with wonderful people. Lots of caring, compassionate and awesome people.
Friend: Yeah, but aren’t you afraid?
Me (again): Afraid of what? The People at the Centre are the same as you and I (I emphasized people for a reason). I work with, and am surrounded by people. Some make mistakes, some have addictions and some have money problems.
The person I was talking with did not seem to believe me. She was emphasizing the negative things of the city of Calgary in general. There are many negative things in this city, but the people who utilize the Drop-In Centre are not whom I would count as one of the negative things.
Calgary is a big city, with a big city comes big city crime. The ‘people’ at the Drop-In Centre are the same as you and I.
We have families, they have families. Some of them have money troubles; some of us have money issues. Some have problems with addictions. Whatever these addictions are, a lot of people in Calgary have them, some people just hide them better, we have family problems, and they have family problems.
Friend: Yeah, but aren’t you scared? (She could not let go of the fear that she thought I should be having while working inside the Drop-In Centre.)
Me: Scared of what, being hit by a plane falling out of the sky? Getting a bad grade on a homework assignment? Getting run over by a dump truck? No, I am not scared.
I went on to explain that I was more apprehensive about walking through on of the City’s shopping malls than I am being surrounded by a thousand people at Supper service in the Drop-In Centre. I am more concerned about being run off the road by some inattentive driver than I am of an incident while at work.
Most of the ‘people’ I emphasized again, are decent caring members of society, they are just having some problems right now.
How sad a state would this country be in if we refused to help a family member who was down on his luck? How sad a place this world would be to live in, if we refused to help a friend or a co-worker with clothing when they needed it? What a terrible position we would be in if we turned a brother or sister away who was fleeing an abusive relationship. What a horrible thing we would do if we turned our parents away when it is cold outside.
Bad things happen at the mall, road rage happens on Deerfoot Trail; fights happen in schoolyards, drunk drivers hurt people daily. Yet, somehow this all seems normal for some reason. So and so discovers that his or her child is smoking crack, or doing crystal meth. But, for some reason when I asked this friend and other friends if they were afraid of these things that happen in their homes, they said no. That this is going to happen in life.
We are all people; we all struggle with issues daily. Some issues are more prevalent than others. Some do not go away without help.
We are all people, we all have problems, whether we chose to admit it or not.
We are all people; we are all capable of love, and hate. We are all capable of doing despicable things, but we are also capable of doing great and wondrous things.
I choose to emphasize the positive, rather than the negative. I choose to do something. Instead of ignoring someone who has a problem, I choose to give them a hand however I can,
We are all people.
Written by Nurse James