A Fellow recently shared that they had changed doctors and that the first visit with their new physician had gone really well. The new doctor hadn’t given a different diagnosis or changed the treatment plan. The outcome of the appointment was the same as it would have been at the previous practice. However, this doctor had taken the time to listen to the Fellow’s concerns, to walk through the information with them and to explain the diagnosis. The doctor had taken the time to see and hear the Fellow as an individual.
That is huge.
Being seen as an individual is a privilege that many youth in foster care are not afforded through their time in the system, their time in school and even afterward as young adults. They are so commonly talked about as a statistic, an example of what could go wrong or a pillar of inspiration. Even the idea that we should want to “hear their story” tarnishes the concept of getting to know someone as a person first. And so they get used to it.
But no one should become accustomed to not being seen or heard as an individual. We must take the time to ensure that we truly see and hear the people before us, no matter the setting, no matter the cause.