There is a scene from the movie Patch Adams that has made a profound impact on me. Patch (played by Robin Williams) is with a small group of medical school students and they are following an experienced physician around the hospital. They come upon a woman in a hospital bed in the hallway. The teaching physician said, “This patient has such-and –such an illness.”
Patch casually asked, “Does this person have a name?”
The doctor looked at the chart and said, “Her name is Doris.”
Patch called her by name, and said, “Hi Doris. How are you doing today?”
For a moment in time Doris changed from being an actress playing a part to a real person, and seemed to literally come alive by the simple act of someone recognizing her and calling her by name.
We are human beings with wants, needs,dreams and wishes behind all the labels by which we become known.
I test this out every day on my job as a banker. It is my personal agenda to learn every customer’s name and use it properly.
We have a group of homeless individuals who frequent our church on Sunday. I’m making a huge effort to remember their names and give them attention and esteem by at least addressing them correctly.
We are not “that person down the street” or the “brown-haired girl on the 2nd floor”. We have names, a past, dreams and a future.
Get beyond the labels of “the mail clerk” or “the guy who always wears brown”.
No … No … No!
Recognize me and my worth.
I am a person in here. Get to know me.
P Michael Biggs
One Word at a Time