Never Forget Why You Chose MLS
A few days ago a young laboratorian acquaintance proudly announced on Facebook that she had passed her comprehensive MLS finals. She was so relieved and excited. She thanked all who helped her, influenced her and encouraged her.
Since she felt I played some part in her success she mentioned me and also sent me a private message of thanks. I encouraged her to keep her enthusiasm and belief that she could in fact make a difference.
Her concern was whether she would live up to the great expectations and responsibilities about to be thrust on her. Again I tried to ally her concern as a natural doubt that assails every new professional "turned loose" for the first time. Sure there is lots of learn. But she knows much more than she thinks she knows. There will be support and resources available so she will in fact not be alone. I wrote about this in a recent article for ADVANCE.
Her reaction took me back to my own fledgling years as a "baby MLS." I had the same feelings of excitement tinged with trepidation. I could could not help but contrast her bushy-eyed enthusiasm with much of the malaise that assails our profession. Where along the line did we (the Royal we, I am talking about here) lose our enthusiasm and pride? When did we replace the ardor for service with pessimism and feelings of inadequacy?
On those days that we think we don't get paid enough; or receive respect or recognition, stop for just a minute and recall why we chose this wonderful, valuable, critically important profession of service in the first place. Even if you are so burnt out that you can't think that far back or cannot dredge up that fire, at least support our new graduates and encourage them that they made the right choice of profession. Tell them that they can make a difference; the torch is in their hands.
And, one last thing. However justified you feel, please, please, don't put out the fire even as it's being ignited. Don't rob them of their dreams.