Dharma practitioner Rashika Stephens works in a hospital in Seattle. She shares her response to the many words of thanks she receives for her service as a frontline healthcare.

Since Covid, many people have come forward to express their gratitude for individuals in the healthcare field, especially commenting on the courage and compassion of the healthcare workers.

Please note that I speak solely from my own experience, but I believe that the courage and compassion that is so often spoken of comes from both sides. It takes courage to walk into the unknown daily, but it also takes courage to trust those who attempt to lead us through that unknown.

It takes courage to understand that helping others could mean putting oneself at greater risk, but it also takes courage to do the uncomfortable things necessary (i.e wearing masks, social distancing, and etc.) to protect those who put themselves in harm’s way.

It takes courage to see the rising numbers on Covid infections and deaths and keep going, but it also takes courage to be one of those numbers and yet try to keep going.

It takes compassion to see beyond the illness and see the person on either side of the equation.

So although it may not initially appear to be the case, both sides deserve gratitude. That is the mindset of myself and of many other healthcare workers I have encountered.

As a healthcare worker, I feel like we are given a unique opportunity to touch people’s lives in a very meaningful way, at a time when they need it the most.

By being given this chance to serve, we are also being given the opportunity to create great merit. This merit not only benefits our own lives, but through dedicating it, it can benefit the lives of others as well. I have also found that many rare opportunities to strengthen my practice arise as a healthcare worker that may not have arisen alternatively.

So what may appear to many as solely a sacrifice is, in actuality, a great privilege. Thank you to all those who afford us all these wonderful opportunities to grow our fortitude, learn joyous effort, create merit, dedicate that merit, and so many other virtuous things.

– Rashika Stephens