Oh, my dear readers, I think I have a really good something for you. It's a new series coming atcha every other Thursday from now until Thanksgiving (it's all about gratitude, my friends) only here at Pars Caeli featuring the writings of the talented Joy from Frock Files and me. Joy and I have been all crafty behind the scenes coming up with some stories/ideas/fresh perspectives that we hope will make you recognize opportunity in the problems that come your way and prompt you to use your creative juices for the power of good.
I am so indebted to Joy for her many gifts and especially for this one right here:
Doug Dietz was at a hospital to check out an MRI machine that he had created. He was proud of it and excited to see it in action. But when it came time for the patient to get into the machine, it was a painful thing -- the machine was being used to scan a 7-year-old girl who, for obvious reasons, found the whole experience to be absolutely terrifying. For an MRI machine to work, the patient must lie still. Getting that scared little girl to be still while the machine made loud, foreign noises around her was impossible. Her parents were upset, the technicians felt helpless, and the little girl did not want to have the scan done.
This was a lightbulb moment for Dietz. While he could have turned around and dismissed the experience by saying there was nothing he could do about it, Dietz instead began thinking about how they could transform the experience for kids by using their own strength of imagination. Along with a local children’s museum, Dietz observed children, interviewed doctors and parents of patients, and began to understand how they could incorporate the simple act of play into the MRI procedures.
The team took their findings and went to work on the MRI rooms with adventure themes. One was turned into intergalactic expedition, simply by painting the walls with murals that looked like outer space. And what better rocket than the already space-age looking MRI machine? The patients became astronauts, while the technicians became mission control. As the once frightening noises of the machine began, the technicians spoke through the machine’s speakers to let their astronaut know that the rocket’s engines were starting up. By making the experience fun, Dietz turned the experience from one of tears to one in which kids come out excited, saying to their parents, “Did you see how fast I was going?”
When this story aired on TED Radio Hour a couple of weeks ago, it struck something deep inside me. While, of course, it made me so grateful that the kids I know are healthy, it made me think about something that’s become increasingly important in my own adult world, as well: sometimes a simple change of perspective is all you need. I thought of all the things I dread and how easily I could turn them around if only I’d incorporate some imagination and play into the ways that I understand them.
From now until Thanksgiving, MJ and I will be doing a series here on Pars Caeli with different ideas about how we can implement this kind of transformative process in our own lives -- for ourselves, the children around us, and our loved ones. By shining new light on unpleasant experiences, we can begin to enjoy our lives more fully -- and that’s definitely something to be grateful for. We hope you’ll join us as we begin this exploration into the power of perspective!
Is there something in your life ready for the Turn It challenge?
XOXO, MJ (and Joy)