I found myself in an oncology waiting room with my wife yesterday. Thankfully we were only there for her to see a hematologist about a much less serious situation than cancer.
We were told to arrive 30 minutes before our scheduled appointment to allow time for filling out paperwork. Then the appointment time came and went. We ended up waiting for a total of one hour before seeing the doctor.
But the entire time we were waiting I couldn’t bring myself to get frustrated or annoyed. The patients that kept coming in stopped me by their attitudes when they were checking in and being taken back for appointments.
When the check-in staff or nurses asked how they were doing, all but a few responded with phrases like “I’m doing great, how about you?” or “I’m keeping positive” or “I’m better than yesterday”.
The relatively short amount of time I spent sitting reading a magazine is nothing compared to the time most of these people spend in doctor’s offices waiting and getting treated. When you see others who keep a positive attitude in the face of serious illness, it puts your own discomforts in perspective.
Too often I find myself complaining either inwardly or outwardly about minor inconveniences. But the patients I was overhearing taught, through their attitudes, that whatever the situation it’s always possible to be positive.