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The March of the Penguins reflection August 6, 2005

Posted by danucube in Nursing, reflections.

I gave myself a treat yesterday by seeing “The March of the Penguins” since penguins are one of my favorite animals. It is an amazing movie in documenting what Emperor penguins go through just to raise a chick.

I was just reflecting on the movie and one image that stuck to my mind is that the lone penguin dies in the arctic storms. The penguins who survive the terrible arctic storms are the one who huddle together. In the film, you’ll see the penguins who try to survive the storm and at the same time protect their eggs all huddle together in this huge mass of penguins. They slowly rotate so everyone has a chance to be in the middle of the huddle which is the warmest. After the chicks were born, same thing, the chicks who huddle together are the one who survive the storms.

Another thing that stick to my mind is how the father and mother work together as a team to raise the chick.

These images sort of goes against the dominating main stream US culture where extreme independence, extreme individualism, extreme egocentricism is often highly value.

In our culture, “dependency” is bad and “independency” is good. I do not think that is actually healthy to have this view. What we want is “healthy dependency and healthy independency”. We do not want “unhealthy dependency and unhealthy independency”.

It also make me reflect on a little of what the Bible teaches. It does teach that individuals are extremely value as each individual is made in the image of God. Also we are children of God through Christ. It on the other hand also teaches dependency, or rather healthy dependency. A healthy dependency (for a Christian) is one who depends on God in everything. His/her confidence is not in himself or herself, but in the God who loves him/her just as the chicks have confidence in taking their first walk because they know their mothers are their. Another healthy dependency trait is that we are to be in some form of community to help and be help. We help within the capacity that God has given us to those who needs it with compassion, care, and love. At the same time, we with humility accept help from others when we need it. We do the good works God has prepared for us in a team. In another word, we are not created to be alone and totally self sufficient from everyone. We are created to be in a community with others and in a communion with God.

In nursing, same thing as nurses works in teams with other nurses, with doctors, with other medical and health staff to bring healing, comfort, compassion, caring, encouragement to the people we come into contact with. Also when we interact with people from other cultures in nursing, we have to keep in mind some cultures are not value independency as high as we do. They value the group more. So if we ask them to tell us about themselves and they have problems, we might switch gear and ask them about the people who play an important part of their lives. In doing so, we get our answers about themselves indirectly.



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