What is the fire in your belly?
When it comes to what you do? Do you feel passion for it and are you excited about the possibilities that could come your way, or is it a bit like the guys with the Gaviscon have just hosed you down and your fire is quelled?
Fire in your belly-you know when you’ve got it
You feel it
Sometimes it is hard to find time to listen to our feelings in the midst of busy work schedules, the passion that you first felt when you entered a career in the NHS may have become blunted by the daily trudge-is it always going to be like that?
I recently mentioned in a blog the creation of the NHS and the welfare state.
Beveridge had a passion for that, but where did that passion come from?
Beveridge’ report might have been destined to be another dry and dusty Government document. What made it a huge public best seller was its breathtaking vision and passionate language. The fiery rhetoric largely came from Scotland after weekends spent with Jessy Mair in the spring and summer of 1942.
Jessy was Beveridge’s close confidante and companion for many years. His biographer, Jose Harris, highlights her influence on him during his visits north of the border:
“Much of his report was drafted after weekends with her in Edinburgh and it was she who urged him to imbue his proposals with a ‘Cromwellian spirit’ and messianic tone. ‘How I hope you are going to preach against all gangsters,’ she wrote. ‘who for their mutual gain support one another in upholding all the rest. For that is really what is happening still in England’. . . .”
Beveridge didn’t miss; the report sold 100,000 copies within a month. Special editions were printed for the forces.
The gangsters referred to by Jessy Mair were the deliverers of health care who profited from the sickness, squalor and disease prevalent at that time. Beveridge clarion call to a sense of community welfare based on need and not ability to pay heralded the start of the NHS.
No surprise that today many of us remain passionate about the values and aspirations of the health service, a service that many of us have experienced as employees, patients and carers of loved ones. There is still some fiery rhetoric and a will to retain and improve on the values and service which the NHS provides.
But it won’t be easy in this time of austerity.
It might need
It means that you find a way to get better
It means that you’re putting in every ounce of extra effort you have
It means that you get pushed down but don’t stay there
Easy to say
Perhaps harder to achieve
But unstoppable when it starts
So what’s your passion and where is it taking you? Share the fire in your belly, it could start a bonfire
Euan McLeod is a Senior Project Officer for the National Bed Planning Toolkit