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The Blessings of a Bad Review

Google me.  See my one-star reviews.

Like skulls on a beach, most from a weathered past, they warn: ‘Beware. Stay away! No guarantees here. Come only if you must.’

An awful sight. Pit in my stomach. Cold damp skin. I rack my head: ‘Who wrote this? Can I fix it?’  What did I do? What will people think?

They achieve their aim. Some people stay away.  And when people do call, remembering those who felt wronged, I ask: “Are you sure you need to see me? Think about it.”

Those who do venture forth find that I care deeply about our pursuit.  With their courage and my commitment we gain higher ground, where sometimes they speak of our small saga, picked up and carried on kinder winds that skulls cannot block.

But when things don’t go well and I see that single star on the screen the force slams me like a wall of water.  Couldn’t they contact me directly and let me try to make things better?  In the backwash I’m cut by shards blasted from my foundations.

Blood oozes: ‘Is this what I ought to be doing? Is my work ethical? How can I do better?’  The pain drives me to break open the balm contained in my trove of charts, filled with stories of people I’ve helped.

Reflection and gratitude become the unintended blessings of an angry tide, helping me clear the rubble and guiding me as I begin to rebuild.

Author
Joshua Feder, M.D. Dr. Feder's Blog

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