Momento Espírita
Curitiba, 25 de Agosto de 2019
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ícone Duty and altruism

A. J. Cronin recounts, in his book, Adventures in Two Worlds, the example of Olwen Davies, a nurse who, at twenty-five, had just finished her practical course at the Hospital and was nominated to the position of visitant nurse.

Despite the cold reception she had in the small village she was sent to, she enthusiastically gave herself to the job. Regardless of the weather, she would visit the sick on foot, going up hills, walking through deserted paths.

The local doctor was a bad professional, and so many were the obstacles Olwen had to overcome to win the temptation of giving up.

When a violent epidemic of typhus fever spread across the small city, she went to see the Public Health responsible in order to get instructions on how to combat such contagion.

Irritated, he sent her away saying that an outbreak of epidemics was no news. The ill would be looked after – and that was it! That was enough.

The nurse collected water from many artesian wells, where the population got their water from, and sent them to a laboratorial analysis.

Forty-eight hours later, an official telegram announced that the typhus wasoriginated from a determined well which supplied the low part of the city.

The Health Centre authorities interdicted the well, but the nurse suffered several kinds of protests, being accused of exceeding her duties, of putting her nose where she should not.

However, no more cases of typhus were detected and the epidemic was finished in a very short time. Actually, in a record time. The public opinion changed and people opened their doors to the nurse.

A local commission, at the end of that year, presented her with a bicycle. Now, she could get quicker to the needy sick.

She inaugurated a Clinic for children and elderly people in a rented room, using her own money. It was also her own initiative.

When people said that she should occupy a position on the Board of directors of an important hospital, as some young ladies had done after graduating in the same class as she, Olwen would say: This is my place, where I am now. I prefer to work anonymously, taking care of children and destitute old people.

One day, she got her bike to answer a call. On her way, she hit a pilaster which had fallen on the middle of the road. Olwen Davies lied there the whole night, under the wind and the rain.

When she was found on the next morning, she was taken into a Hospital in a bigger city. She had fractured her spine.

A series of long and complicated surgeries, massages and electrotherapy resulted in nothing. She would never walk again.

The courageous nurse did not feel defeated. Many years later, sitting on a wheelchair, grey haired, much thinner and with her legs covered with a mantel but still wearing a uniform, she was still working in the benefit of others.

Surrounded by ill people, mostly children, she pushed her wheelchair forward with her skilful hands.

When people asked her how she felt, she would smile, expressing joy and well-being, and would say: Can’t you see? I am great! I am back to work and still on a pair of or wheels.

*   *   * 

Always remember the noble application of the values you have: the sight, the word, the hearing, movement, lucidity and many others, distributing blessings amongst the ones who carry a burden heavier than yours.

And remember that “The human beings, who accomplish their duties, love God above all creatures and love the creatures more than themselves.”

 

Spiritist Moment Team, based on the article “O dever e o altruísmo”, by José Ferraz, inserted in the magazine Presença Espírita, nº 229 and on the item 7, chapter XVII from O evangelho segundo o espiritismo, by Allan Kardec, publishing house Feb.

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