“How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.”
— Florence Nightingale
If you had to leave your wealthy family of high social prestige to perform the job of a servant, would you choose social prestige? Or choose to serve humankind and save lives?
For Florence Nightingale, the answer was obvious.
Referred to as the “Lady with the Lamp,” Florence Nightingale was born into a wealthy English family of high social prominence in 1820 in Florence, Italy. Despite her privileged background, she believed God had called her to be a nurse.
British society frowned upon the nursing occupation, as it was the job of servants and homemakers.
Florence was determined to follow her calling.
She enrolled in a nursing school in Germany, and upon concluding her studies, she started working at a hospital in London.
In 1854, the Crimean War broke out, and Florence led a team of 38 nurses to bring medical help to British soldiers fighting in the war.
During the war, crowded and unsanitary hospitals contributed to a high death rate among wounded soldiers. However, the hospital conditions improved under Florence’s leadership, and the death rate subsided.
Throughout her life, Florence Nightingale fought to enhance healthcare standards and pursued changing the face of medicine.
What can we learn about Florence Nightingale?
Find the courage to follow your convictions.
It’s essential to recognize that courage is not without fear. We all have fears, but overcoming those fears drives us to be brave and relentless. Like Florence Nightingale, we can all identify strength in our convictions with the courage to continue our profound devotions.
If you are unwilling to act, don’t blame anyone.
Some people complain about how things are but do nothing to change them. Florence Nightingale is a perfect example of someone who refused to accept societal conformities and instead used courage and worked to be different.
Society expected Florence to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a society lady. But Florence had other plans. She was determined to use her skills and knowledge to help others, and she became one of the most famous nurses in history.
The welfare of all should come before one’s comfort.
Throughout our lives, we will face situations where we must choose between what we want for ourselves and what needs to be done for the sake of others. It’s most definitely not always a simple choice to make. Still, if nothing else, Ms. Nightingale is the perfect reminder that humility and selflessness can make the greatest of differences.
“I attribute my success to this — I never gave or took any excuse.”
— Florence Nightingale.
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