One Heartbeat, One Humanity

"What a small world!" These words, often spoken, no longer ring true for me. My experience has been that we live in a big, complicated and utterly beautiful world filled with endless landscapes, wild creatures and diverse peoples. It is the experiences we have and the people we meet within the context of this world that can broaden our perspectives and, at times, change the trajectory of our life.


For example, my drawing would not be on this page if it were not for the inherent interconnectedness of humanity. When I lived in Minneapolis, I met a physician who, within a brief conversation, picked up on my interests in equitable and sustainable medicine. He connected me with a family physician that had similar interests. She gave me the opportunity to assist her in a research project in conjunction with the Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota. Years later, now that I am a medical student at the University of Colorado, a friend from that center reached out. Remembering my fondness for creating intentional art, she passed along my name to the ACC as someone that might have an interest in collaborating on an emblem signifying their active and intentional movement to understand, embrace and empower diverse people.

Listening is the one of the hardest but most vitally important skills that I am continually learning. Countless people from various times and places have listened to me speak from my heart. As a physician in training, I am learning to listen to each nuance of the heart and feel the speed of life pulsing throughout our vessels. Similarly, this past year has forced me to listen to the cries of hearts around us and feel the pulse of life skip a beat when injustice has its way. My life has been impacted not only by those who have listened to me but also by those to whom I have listened. A lesson taught daily on medical wards is, "only order tests if they may impact your treatment plan." In other words, if we listen, truly listen to others, then our actions should reflect that. In turn, the decisions I make, opinions I form and the ways I interact with others need to reflect the oneness I see in this big world.

"No words left unspoken
just listen
our pulse is the universal language." – Ann Anderson

Ann Anderson, AuD, Layne's mother, is an avid poet and audiologist at Mayo Clinic.

Layne Anderson

This article is written by Layne Anderson, third-year medical student at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO. Anderson is an artist and passionate about palliative and hospice care. (Instagram: @chalkinglyyou)

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