“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
Eleanor BrownnHeal yourself first so you can Tikkun Olam with us

At a recent dinner, Seth Ginsberg—you know the guy, CreakyJoints co-founder and America’s favorite patient advocate—shared with the table how he wrote the Hebrew phrase “Tikkun Olam” (Healing The World) on his binder as a teenager. To Seth it was a reminder of his work, and it became a concept he  infused into the very fabric of CreakyJoints.  I know we are better for it.

In its broadest sense, Tikkun Olam  means equity and compassion; ideals we embrace to shift the status quo. In a concrete sense, it means that we push doctors and insurance providers to actually listen and respond to patient needs and perspectives. It means people are people and not numbers—and should be treated with dignity and respect.

Through the framework of healthcare advocacy “Healing the World” is an especially fitting concept. Isn’t this what we are trying to do—heal the world so those who are in pain get the reprieve they need?

But unfortunately, when something needs healing it also means that damage is already done. This is why I challenge us to work towards solutions that deter the pain/trauma/disease from occurring in the first place. This must be a collective and proactive process. We cannot continue to be engaged in reactive medicine that works in triage mode with people’s lives and holds people’s access to care hostage.

I know it’s no easy feat to heal the world or at the very least change it. This is why we always advise our advocates: heal yourself first.  Whatever your release: indulging on a Netflix binge, scrapbooking, taking a walk, getting a massage—or simply taking some time to breathe and acknowledge the beauty around you—it’s critically important for you to look out for our own wellbeing.

There is a lot of injustice in the world and it can swallow us up whole. Please remember to schedule the time to take care of yourself in whatever way you choose. Find your well and make sure to drink from it often. Heal yourself first so you can Tikkun Olam with us.

-Advocacy Joe

Want to get more involved? Have what it takes to be part of Seth’s 50 State Network?

Kirsten W, from WI does.

In her own words: “I’ve always been a fighter, falling ill at just five years old, but I tend to watch out for others more than myself. I began personal blogging as a way to research Still’s disease and share that information with my now fiancé. As I began to learn more about the shortcomings in representation, awareness on types of arthritis, and more, I knew that I was in a unique position to speak up and help make the changes we so desperately need – especially for the 300,000 children in the US living with juvenile arthritis.”

And we can’t do this work without having fun. Here’s an interesting fact I learned about Kirsten and her green thumb: “I have a non-edible climbing onion, that is desperate to get light – so much so that it will climb in-between our blinds to attempt to flee the warmth of our apartment. With the negative temps lately though, it has decided maybe it should come back in.”

To join Kirsten and to learn more visit Seth’s 50 State Network visit: http://www.ghlf.org/seths-50-state-network/