Love Cannot Be Silent

Monday, February 1, 2021

This submission earned an honorable mention in the Synapse Storytelling Contest photography category. 

This encouraging message adorned the museum courtyard of Golden Gate Park in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests this year. I have often spent time relaxing and reflecting on the benches here.

The plaza is a lively haven from my study-packed days. I watch some kids biking back and forth across the swirls of pink chalk. This interaction reminds me that the wider world, including its social movements, is the context for their lives and mine. The realities of racism, sexism, classism, and every -ism will intersect with and maybe even determine the overall health of my future patients and colleagues.

I think about the importance of recognizing not only the biological factors that influence wellbeing but also the societal, economic, and political ones. This bold pavement message serves as a challenge to me as a budding physician.

To practice compassion, a branch of love, towards my patients inherently means speaking up because “When hate is loud, love cannot be silent.” With these words reverberating through my head, I head home to continue my training.