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Feburary 2010: A Short Month!

            This is the month of love... of kindness ... and of concentrating on how to be responsible with the former and generous with the latter.

            How do we act with love and kindness in such a totally "PC [politically correct]" world?  We can no longer risk hugging a child who isn't family.  We can no longer intervene if we see a stranger in need - say someone crying on a sidewalk - without fear of it being taken poorly.

            What are our social and ethical obligations - apart from personal religious or spiritual code?

            As health care providers or support staff, we remain in the realm of caregivers.  We have an actual obligation to care.  Therefore, find ways of showing that to your fellow human beings - in your home, your family, your neighborhood, your workplace, your world as you walk through it daily.

            February 15-21 is Random Acts of Kindness Week.  Yes, it sounds silly and elementary.  But is it?  Just try picking up someone's dropped coins on the sidewalk as you happen to hear them fall.  Just try helping a tourist in the subway or on the street.  Go to http://www.actsofkindness.org and grab a few ideas.

            There is romance associated with February, of course.  How do we avoid Cupid's aim?!  We shouldn't even try!  Valentine's Day (14 February) is also National Condom Awareness Day (http://www.ashastd.org).  As workers in the medical fields, we may know those who should be using condoms without fail.  It is difficult to tell someone to do so.  But perhaps it is not as difficult to prepare little "gift bags" of informational pamphlets and free condoms (which you can obtain, as providers or healthcare employers from NYC itself and many other venues).  Condoms, as we should know, prevent STDs and pregnancies.  That in itself is an act of kindness for those at risk.

            Finally, for the young and the elders in society, show love this month, as it is both National Children's Dental Health Month and National Senior Independence Month.    Log onto http://www.ada.org for the kids and http://www.aoa.gov for the young at heart for ideas.

            And watch for Cupid's arrows!