Photo and Story by Patty Franklin O'Brien

It’s the Little Things that Matter


We all have an opportunity to make a difference in the world. You don’t have to be famous or have an “impressive” or elite job description or be connected to either of those things to be able to manifest a genuine, worthy and loving connection to other human beings to help our planet become more like we all want it to be!

A dear and wonderful friend of mine recently posted the following photograph and brief story about what could have been an anonymous and forgettable every day interaction but became something else. The following event she shared while accompanying her husband Jim to the hospital was shared on her Facebook page that illustrates this point beautifully. Both her words and her photograph are published with permission.

This is the view from the second floor of the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine at the University of PA. Too many of my friends and loved ones know this view because they need Perelman’s life-saving treatments. 

I learned a valuable lesson at Perelman this week about how our brains go “click, click, click” as we might judge or disregard people we don’t know. 

Dozens of valet attendants are at the front entrance of Perelman and they efficiently move hundreds of patients in and out of the building. As Jim and I left the center on Tuesday and were waiting for our car a valet walked over to us, shook both our hands, looked us in the eye and said, “Stop. Wait a minute. This is not about picking up your car but about what happened today at Perelman. Did it go well? Are you both OK? Is there anything I can do for you?” He held my hand until the conversation ended. We got into our car and wiped tears from our eyes. 

Please, really look at people. And listen.

It’s not hard to do, and it can mean so very much. Thanks Patty. Sending love to you and Jim and your whole family.

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