This past weekend, I graduated from Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University and accomplished one of my greatest dreams in life- that of becoming a nurse and using my knowledge and skills to better the overall health and lifestyle of my patients and all those around me. Just a couple of years ago, I would not have believed I would ever reach this place, and there was certainly no shortage of challenges along the way. I am so thankful to God, my family, friends, and countless classmates and professors who helped me get to where I am today. I can’t wait to see where my nursing journey takes me next, but wherever I go, I will be sure to do my very best to fulfill my duties as a nurse.
Also over the weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar with dinner, music, and a few of my favorite topics in the world- health and compassion. One of the primary themes of the evening was that of caring for yourself in order to provide optimal care to others, after which we were challenged to promote healthy lifestyle changes in 7-8 of the people closest to us and encouraged to become lifestyle coaches for others within our community. We also had the pleasure of listening to the keynote speaker of the evening, Emory University’s Timothy Harrison, discuss Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT) as a new and emerging concept to expand basic compassion towards all human beings. He tied this in to the initial theme by explaining how CBCT can also serve as a means of improving one’s own mental health (specifically, to decrease the high rates of depression, anxiety, and mood disorders seen in medical students). This was the first year I attended the event as a nurse rather than a student, and I was inspired all over again to make the most of the nursing degree for which I have worked so hard!
You know they captured my heart when they mentioned one of my all-time favorite quotes:
“A human being is part of the whole, called by us, “universe”, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.” -Albert Einstein
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the pinning ceremony and commencement this weekend!