As part of our ongoing initiative to encourage dialogue between pharmacists working in different environments, each month Drug Topics will present an editorial by a guest columnist writing on a subject of his or her choice. Send us your feedback; we look forward to sharing it in an upcoming issue.
Mahatma Gandhi stated, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world." As you look back over your life and career so far, what makes you most proud?
For me, that's a simple question to answer, since my profession has afforded me ample opportunities to serve in communities both locally and abroad. The moments that I hold in highest regard are not directly linked to my pharmacy practice or to the various titles I have held; rather, they are the moments when I stepped away from my "comfort zone" and served in a capacity that was not natural to me.
I've been blessed with the opportunity to work with many different children from drastically different walks of life. Village kids in Zambia, Africa; inner-city kids outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; private-school kids from the Northeast and public- school kids from the South who just wanted to learn to play basketball; orphan boys in Cochabamba, Bolivia - they all have the same core needs and desires. They want to be loved and shown attention, to be mentored by people they can look up to and emulate. I never saw their needs until I stepped out of my comfort zone and met them where they were.
I have had the opportunity to serve with others in organizations such as Rebuilding Together of Northwest Arkansas (very similar to Habitat for Humanity). To see a house that is in shambles transformed over the course of one day by a group of unskilled but passionate volunteers is priceless. The expressions on the faces of the family members, their newfound pride, and the impression made on your heart are all things that words cannot effectively describe.
Organizations such as United Way, Children's Miracle Network, and the Big Brother program - each has left an indelible mark on my career and on me. …