The Monday Memo
March 23, 2015 PITT DPT STUDENTS
Back in 1992, a cargo ship accidentally lost a container holding nearly 30,000 Friendly Floatees rubber ducks. The container spilt the friendly bath toys into the Pacific Ocean where they were left to drift wherever the rolling waves would take them. Scientists quickly discovered that they could track the ducks, using them to study ocean currents.
Twenty-three years later, the ducks are still turning up on shores around the world. Some have travelled over 17,000 miles. Ducks have been found from Hawaii, to Hong Kong, to Argentina, Alaska, New York, and even the UK. Some ducks have even been found frozen in Arctic Ice and have crossed through the Arctic Circle to reach the expanses of the Atlantic. Twenty-three years later, and they are still washing ashore, sometimes halfway around the world, continents away.
Everything we do in life is a lot like these rubber ducks. Each action we take, hopefully for the better but occasionally for the worse, is a drop in the great expanses of our world. They send ripples throughout time and space, carrying our words and actions to people we may never meet and places that we may never even dream of. And yet though we may never know it, our actions can alter paths, they can shape minds, they can change the lives of those countless masses that will never know our names.
And we as therapists do this daily, without giving a thought.
We as therapists and physicians carry great weight with our actions. By getting a father out of the hospital bed he had resigned himself the lie in the rest of his life, we may improve his health and quality of life so that his grandchildren have memories with him. Controlling a woman’s low back pain could allow her to get back to work, so that she can send her daughter to a better school and a better life. These ripples can turn to waves that you personally may never see, because you only witnessed the drop in the water, the time that you brought about a change in someone’s life. So set some rubber ducks adrift. Who knows what they will do.
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