Writers Quote Wednesday – Empathy

6 Apr

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. It’s Writers Quote Wednesday and I’d like to take advantage and say a little something about empathy.

empathy-quote-writers quote Wednesday-the writer next door

I believe what this quote says also. Without empathy the world would be in chaos. I believe that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has a lot to do with the people of these two ancient cities lacking empathy and becoming desensitized to the suffering of their own people. Whether you believe God destroyed these two wicked cities or the eruption of a colossus volcano wiped them out, the truth is the world is a better place with them gone.

Right about now you may be thinking, what the heck is she talking about? Something similar to what happened in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah is happening in the world today. I’m not preaching ‘Armageddon’ but you have to admit that many people nowadays are sorely lacking  empathy.

My father is still in the hospital. He’s doing a little better every day so we’re a bit more hopeful. He has a strong will and is fighting like crazy. I have spent a lot of time in the hospital with him and if you have a family member admitted in the hospital I recommend you do the same. When I’m not there my mom, sister or brother are. My brother and I are in the medical field and my mom is a retired nurse. We know what goes on.

I venture to say that 80% of the hospital staff are good people that care but then you have that 20% that are completely desensitized and lack empathy for the patients they treat and their families who are suffering right along side them. These are the people to watch out for.

My father is not alone in his hospital room. He shares the room with another man. The other patient’s wife has been by his side since my dad was moved to that room on Sunday. At least she’s always there when I’ve gone to visit my dad which is every day for many hours. Yesterday I overheard the older woman (she’s in her 80s) ask the nurse if she could bring her a sandwich or a small soup. She thought that since her husband, who was hospitalized, could not eat that maybe she could get a little of the food he was unable to consume. To my surprise the nurse told her no and not in a very nice way. The lady explained that she had no family to bring her food and she did not want to leave her husband’s side and I suspect she didn’t have much money either. The nurse told her coldly that she was not going to repeat herself and that the answer was still no.

My heart was crushed. I mean, I felt physical pain in my chest. How could someone stare a person in the face and refuse to help them, especially a tiny (maybe 95 lbs) 80 year old who’s hungry when you know you could easily help her. My family and I have been offered soup, sandwiches, jello, pudding, juice and all sorts of things by other nurses while we’ve been there and this nurse is telling this lady that she can’t do it. I couldn’t believe the callous way in which this nurse spoke to this lady or the lack of empathy.

Afterward I told the patient’s wife that I was headed for the cafeteria and that I would bring her something to eat. I brought her back a soup and sandwich and she ate the soup and saved the sandwich for later. Before I left the hospital I spoke to the charge nurse and explained what had happened. She told me not to worry that from that moment on they will bring the older lady food and she kept her word because the nurse (a different nurse) and nurse assistant have been coming by the room and bringing my dad’s neighbor’s wife snacks like jello, pudding . . . between breakfast and lunch of course. She will be receiving three meals a day plus snacks. That’s the way it should be. After all, if a hospital is going to charge $25.00 for an aspirin, $8.00 for a box of tissue, and $20.00 every time the blood pressure cuff is used they can afford to feed a poor old lady who doesn’t want to leave her husband’s side an occasional soup and sandwich.

People in the medical field are constantly in danger of becoming desensitized and of lacking empathy for the patients they serve and their families. I commend all those individuals who have been in the medical field for years and maintain concerned, moved, involved––with love in their hearts for those they care for and their families. I appreciate you and am so grateful for you. ❤



Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog.

I want to thank all my wonderful online friends for the love and support, kind thoughts, wishes and prayers for my father’s well being. You are all great and I am very thankful.

empathy-The Writer Next Door-Writers Quote Wednesday

My dad

40 Responses to “Writers Quote Wednesday – Empathy”

  1. Teagan Geneviene April 6, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

    You are a truly kind person, Vashti. When anyone enacts a simple kindness like that, the entire world benefits. Have you heard of “the Law of One”? When one is harmed, all are harmed. When one is helped, all are helped. I’m still sending good thoughts your way… love, light, and hugs. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 6, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

      Thank you Teagan. I just felt it was the right thing to do. Someone in the medical field once told me that when you look at a patient you should try to imagine yourself or someone you love in their place and I’ve been doing that ever since not only with patients but with everyone. It’s the golden rule. The Law of One sounds great. Thanks for the good thoughts, it’s working! 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. olganm April 6, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    I’m pleased to hear that your father is doing better and I agree with Teagan. You’re very kind. It’s great you were able to help and went out of your way even in your circumstances. If only everybody did the same. You’re a true example. Thinking of you and your family.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 6, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

      It’s so sweet that you guys think I’m kind. I certainly aim to be but I did what I felt was my duty as a human being. We should all look after each other especially the helpless ones. The thought of someone going hungry in the midst of so many people and so much food turns my stomach. I couldn’t let that happen. I don’t think anyone I know would have. Thank you for your loving and positive thoughts. ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Silver Threading April 6, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

    Vashti, I was so sad to hear of your father’s illness. I wish him a speedy recovery. You are spot on about empathy. What happened to it? I am so glad you reached out and helped that lady. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Don’t people understand that WE could be that little old lady some day? I used to work in hospital accounting. Whenever I wandered the halls of the hospital people used to stop me and ask all kinds of questions. I didn’t know the answers but I tried to get them to someone who did. Thank you for sharing such a touching incident in your life. Hang in there. I hope your father is home quickly! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 6, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

      Hi Colleen, thank you very much. It was a heart-wrenching situation. I don’t know anyone who would not have done the same thing. That was very considerate and kind of you because I’ve seen too often how many people don’t bother to help. It’s much easier to just say, ‘I’m not a nurse’ and keep going. You’re right, that could be any of us some day. Why is that so difficult for people to understand? ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jaye22 April 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

    Hi Vashti
    I love your post it is both emotional and makes so much sense, it costs nothing to show a little humility and kindness. I am so glad your Dad is improving please keep positive and we are all routing for you – hugs extra positive vibes love Jennifer X X X

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy April 6, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

    Vashti, your post is an excellent illustration about what can happen when healthcare workers (I am one of them) become burned out and/or complacent. When my father was in the hospital I was on the other side of the equation and it really opened my eyes to see how much it means to have a nurse or other provider who takes the time to show a little empathy and compassion. I wish your father well and hope that he gets well soon. Make sure to take care of yourself too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 6, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

      Thank you Amy. Believe me I know that being a nurse is one of the hardest jobs, especially now that there are so many patients per nurse. I know nurses and nurse assistants are overworked to the point of abuse sometimes. I just wish that every nurse would realize that these things are not the patients or their families’ fault. I try to help as much as possible when I’m in the hospital. Thank you I will. 🙂 ❤


  6. beastlypeace April 6, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    It is such an unfortunate thing when people lack empathy. I understand one has to build a sort of wall in the medical field lest you let your emotions hinder your professionalism, but there is absolutely no excuse to treat someone like this nurse treated this lady. You are such a sweetheart to have gotten her food and then arranged it so she would be given meals and snacks while she stays by her husband’s side. Please keep being the beautiful person you are, inside and out. And I pray Lelo continues a steady recovery. =0)


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 6, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

      Beautifully said Nati! ❤ If I haven't changed by now I don't think I ever will. 😉 Thank you so much for the kind words and prayers. Love you! ❤ xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. John W. Howell April 6, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

    You were so kind to help and speak up. I’m always of the belief that what goes around comes around and that nurse is probably not a happy person.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. aranislandgirl April 6, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

    I regret that I’ve been distant for so long as to not have read about your father’s condition before now. I’m very touched how you ministered to that woman. Add me as one who will pray for your family, and also for that nurse who clearly is going through her own suffering and unfortunately took it out on someone so vulnerable. ((hugs))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 6, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

      Thank you Melissa. I appreciate your prayers and it’s very sweet that you will pray for the nurse as well. ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. nagrij April 6, 2016 at 9:19 pm #

    Good quotes… and those pictures! The one with the bear made me wonder where the parents were. Even more best wishes for you and yours; can’t hurt!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 7, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

      Thank you. Good wishes and positive thoughts are always welcome and they do make a difference. Thanks again.💕


  10. coldhandboyack April 6, 2016 at 11:13 pm #

    Good for you. That nurse has got to be a tough old bird. So cruel to refuse her request for food. The way she saved the sandwich makes me wonder if she can’t afford food.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 7, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

      I wondered the same thing. The charged nurse put in an order for her to receive 3 meals a day and so far they’re doing just that, so that’s a relief. The nurse wasn’t old (maybe in her 30s), some people are just not cut out to be nurses.😒

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sunni Morris April 6, 2016 at 11:43 pm #

    I’m glad your dad is doing well enough so you could post again. It’s wonderful that you brought the old lady something to eat. And I’m glad you told the nurses station and got things straightened out in her behalf. You’re right that hospitals charge exorbitant prices and they could feed her. I bet you’re right that the old woman hasn’t got much money. I don’t think she would have saved the sandwich for later otherwise. You have a kind heart for helping her.

    I also see how some nurses can lose all the empathy they ever had. I imagine it happens more than we know. Fortunately when I was in the hospital five years ago, the nurses were great on my floor. I only had an issue with one of the aides. Even the housekeepers were very nice.

    I hope your dad is able to come home soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 7, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

      Thank you Sunni. I think that if you’re a medical professional and it’s gotten to that point where you no longer care it’s time to reevaluate whether or not you should remain in the healthcare industry. My mom is a retired nurse and she always cared for her patients. Being a nurse is very difficult it takes a special kind of person to be a good nurse. Not everyone is cut out for this work.
      I hope my dad is able to leave soon too although his nurses have been Angels.😘


  12. davidprosser April 7, 2016 at 2:40 am #

    What a nice lady you are Vashti. I hope your Dad improves enough soon that he can go home.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. khansana1000 April 7, 2016 at 5:22 am #

    Thanks Vashti for the wonderful quote and story shared from your life, the world is increasingly getting desensitized , I am glad and proud of you for what you did for the old lady , we can be her in our old age who knows and may be in worse situations, we all liked to be helped then why not lend a helping hand ?? love and hug to you!,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

      Thank you very much for the kind words. Your logic is sound; if we all enjoy receiving help then why not help others. 🙂❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Prakash Hegade April 10, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

    Wishes and prayers. I hope all will be at good soon.

    Very pleased to hear about the help you offered. Hope, there is still and its all because of such, humanity still exists! Was really happy for the deed. 🙂


  15. Green Magick April 13, 2016 at 1:05 am #

    Fantastic post! There is a pronounced lack of empathy in society lately and it seems to be on the increase. Your kindness made such a difference for that sweet, elderly woman.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 13, 2016 at 11:04 am #

      Hello! Yes, a lack of empathy does seem to be on the rise. I believe one of the problem is overmedicated people. There’s nothing wrong with taking medicine when you need it but there’s something very wrong with popping a pill whenever you’re about to feel something you don’t want to feel. These people become numb to the world around them and live in a fantasy. Sometimes you just have to feel. Whether it’s mourning a loved one, or mending a broken heart––you just have to feel and get through it, you can’t bypass those feelings by taking a pill. Sometimes those pills erase the good with the bad.
      Many people also become overwhelmed with all that’s happening in the world today and think that one person can’t do anything to make a difference. If everyone made a difference in just one person’s life what a wonderful world this would be. Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Janice April 14, 2016 at 7:12 am #

    Your message is so heartfelt. I Iike the engagement you showed: being aware of a woman’s need and doing something about it. I know this is about a week after you wrote your post..I ‘m hoping that your father’s health is improving and that you are holding out with all the time you are devoting to his care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

      Thank you Janice. My father has a very strong will and he is fighting. He’s doing a little better everyday. I appreciate the kind words. ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Janice April 14, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

        So glad to hear that about your father. Sounds like he is a fighter like your mother (gathered from your haiku feature) Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Mrs. AOK April 15, 2016 at 5:12 pm #

    I’m so thankful for kindhearted souls in this world like you, Vashti. We need more empathy is this world! I cannot believe how cold that nurse was to a hungry, worried, elderly woman holding vigil next to her husband. SAD.
    I sincerely think we have a problem in this world, people are becoming numb. Suddenly we’re zombies with no emotion to other’s pain and suffering, worrying more about shiny flashy things.
    I’ve been thinking of you and your family, wishing y’all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 17, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

      And I’m thankful for you too because I feel you are the same way. I’m sure you would have done the same for that poor woman. You’re right, there is a scary lack of empathy in the world today. I blame mood “enhancers” and other medications that prevent people from feeling a full range of emotions. There are people out there that pop a pill whenever they are about to feel something negative but some negative emotions need to be felt. These people numb their good feeling along with their bad ones and others simply react to them. Sorry to go on and on but I’ve seen this so many times.
      Thank you so much! ❤ xx


  18. JESS44903 April 16, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    this is such a great post!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

    Liked by 1 person

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