|Capt. Moira McGuire (Director of the Creative Arts Program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center)
Compassion is a word heavy with meaning, significance, and value. We often find the value of compassion differs among peoples and cultures and its significance ranges from the role it plays in forming and assessing communities and societies. However, its application is often enacted counter to its etiological meaning of “to suffer with” from the Latin roots cum (with) and pati (suffer). So how does one best understand, honor, and deploy compassion in one’s life? The answer is found within the arts. Creativity and expression are the keys to learning what compassion is, determining how it will be applied in one’s life, and how it can uniquely facilitate, support, and honor the idea of “suffering with.”
“It wasn’t until I entered the field of medicine as a nurse that I realized I was wrong. It was there I first encountered the attitude of ‘how nice’ when discussing the arts. Something that I understood to be a foundational element of my life, others perceived as a nicety or, even worse, as insignificant. It would sometimes perplex and sadden me when potential art-based solutions where not considered as useful tools in the toolbox of patient care. I believe internally we have always known the significance and magnitude of the arts—as people, as communities, and as societies—but somehow we forgot their power or allowed ourselves to be convinced otherwise.
Continued Conversation on Race and Justice
Bible Study: "Looking Into the Lectionary"
Bible Study: How Should People of Faith Respond When God Calls?