Something from Nothing

There is nothing I can do.

I hear this statement so often in our healthcare setting, that it really annoys me. I know there are limits in what everyone can do, based on his or her roles and responsibilities, or the specific skill sets. But we tend to jump to this statement quickly, as if we are afraid of added workload.  I do understand that at times, it is true – that nothing can be done. But many times, we make no effort to attempt the possibility.

Something from Nothing is a children’s book written by Phoebe Gilman. it is a story about a Jewish boy who received a blanket from his grandfather at birth. But as the blanket got worn out and the boy’s mother threatened to throw it away, the boy would run to his grandfather to turn it into something new again. The blanket was first transformed into a jacket and later into a vest, a tie, a handkerchief and finally into a button. In the end, the Jewish boy lost his button and was very disappointed that he could no longer ask his grandfather to transform it into something new. Yet, he went to school the next day and was able to create a wonderful story from all his experience.

This is one of my daughter’s favourite books. I also love the story as the lesson in the story can be applicable to adults. When we think we have reached the end of the road or there is no alternative, we need to think outside the box. Build a bridge, create a new path, tread a new course.  If there is a will, there is a way.

So next time when you think there is nothing you can do for someone who may need your help, think for a minute if there is something else you can do or explore.

It’s all in the mindset; it’s all in the attitude.



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My name is Cynthia Leung and I am a practicing pharmacist in Kingston Ontario, Canada. This blog is for me to share my ideas, opinions and perspectives on how medications are used in our health care system. Note that these posts are my own opinions and do not represent the opinions of my current or former employers and / or organizations that I may belong to. Any possible case scenarios described in my posts would be modified to maintain patient confidentiality. This blog is not a platform for professional advise for patients or health care providers and the content is not meant to support any clinical decisions or replace professional opinions. Also the images are either taken or created by the author, or adapted with permissions. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts!

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