Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Miss Perception

When we first broke ground on our new office and birth center, we were called several times by people in what seemed to be going toward a community uproar. Why? Because we were building an abortion clinic, that's why. Or so, that was the word on the street. People in our neighborhood called our office. The church across the street called our office. Another midwife in our community was approached about us by inquiring minds in her own church. 

The interesting thing with living in a small community, is that we are all connected. This, for the most part, is a strength and why I love living in a small community. I go on to have repeat clients and help them welcome all of their babies, I take care of friends and family members of previous clients, and we all continue to be further enriched by being deeply and strongly interweaved. However, sometimes- as in the case of the abortion clinic- living in a small community turns comparable to a bad case of The Telephone Game: information is shared, misconstrued, added, subtracted, twisted, contorted, misinterpreted, and passed on as factual truth. 

In the case of the abortion clinic, the truth was: we were- and are- anything but. We take care of women. We help families become families. 

Fast forward to today and on a completely different topic, our office received a phone call from a very upset, and not-so-nice woman. Her phone call really upset one of our receptionists. The woman felt the need to randomly call and speak of "things she had heard." In speaking with our employees about the incident, I contemplated the idea of calling this anonymous woman back to address her statements and provide her with accurate, factual information. Would it do any good? Would it be welcomed? Would it/could it make a difference to this apparent raging-mad woman? Would it just upset me? One of our employees pointed out: if I didn't call- if I just left it as it was- this woman would remain with her inaccurate misunderstandings. Thankfully for caller ID and a thoughtful receptionist, I had her phone number. 

I picked up the phone and called this woman, not knowing what to expect but knowing that my heart was open and I was coming from a place where I wanted to rectify any misinformation. 

The Telephone Game teaches us the power of perception and individual interpretation...stories morph as they go from individual to individual, each unique in perception and interpretation. 

For the anonymous caller, I hope our talk helped- and put this lesson into perspective. 

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