A solar eclipse of the heart

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Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC
Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

I've always had this odd habit where I associate almost anything I hear throughout the day with a song lyric. So, of course, as the U.S. prepared for the solar eclipse on Monday (August 21), Bonnie Raitt's “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was playing in my head for days. (And those of you around me were very pleased I wasn't singing it aloud!)

Then as the national news of hate and division inundated us all with stories and video of various events around the country, this song took on a new meaning to me. I kind of think that those who feel superior to others, especially those due to their circumstance of birth, really do have a total eclipse of the heart.

It doesn't happen at birth — we are born to love. But we are taught to hate. Like an eclipse, it happens over time until the sun (or heart, in this case) is totally covered.

When my daughters were little, they went to a co-op preschool. I was working weekend option at the time so we could take advantage of this program. Besides being able to keep the tuition low by being a teacher's helper, I got to see my babies interact with other children.

The school was extremely diverse: multi-ethnic, multiple faiths, multiple cultures. And these children loved on one another. They hugged, held hands, ate from each other's snacks (the way little kids do), played inclusively, everyone went to each other's birthday parties, etc.

There was no superiority, separatism or hate.  In other words, the full sun was out!

Sadly, after childhood innocence for some people, they learn to feel they are privileged, somehow superior, feeling that if someone else of a different ethnicity or culture has “more than them,” then that person somehow stole what was their “right.”  And often, in the name of their God, they spew hate.

Most of us are in the healthcare profession because we have the intrinsic need to care for others. Like me, this increasing trajectory of hatred seenon various newscasts is probably tearing you apart.

It goes against the precepts of the healthcare profession. But we can be a shining light by being examples of inclusive love, caring for all our patients with the same concern and passion. So come on my brothers and sisters, let your light shine full force.

And maybe, just maybe, we can help those with the eclipse of the heart let the moon pass over their sun and the eclipse will be gone.

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. She has not starred in her own national television series — yet. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

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The Real Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

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