Living above the line: Creating a sense of BelongingMelissa C Palmer, LCSW, ACHP-SW, APHSW-C, JD May 25, 2021
I wanted to share a powerful commencement ceremony speech by my dear friend, Dimple Dhabalia. Dimple reminds me of how I want to strive to live my life every day. Although she is not working in healthcare, her message of choosing to “live above the line” inspires me to be a role model for acceptance and kindness in the world.
Living above the line means being “open, curious, non-judgmental, and action with intention”. The more we can live above the line, the more positively we can affect the lives of our family, friends, coworkers, and patients. We may not always achieve this goal, but if we are mindful of the energy we put out into the world, we can shift the scale to a more positive practice and living.
It is not enough to be tolerant. Embracing the tapestry of the diaspora of what it means to be human will truly allow us to meet our patients and families where they are at in their lives. It will help them feel heard and belong. People have a “desire to be seen, celebrated, and treated with dignity”. Particularly in a traditionally hierarchical medical world, patients and families are looking for a friendly soul who can figuratively or literally hold their hands. We can be the ones who hold their hands when we live above the line.
Please forward to the 9 minute 55 second mark of this link for Dimple’s speech: