I collected my hospital ID yesterday.
There was a brief moment of panic where it said “Dr.” in front of my name. But, then I remembered that is okay. I am legitimately a doctor now. And then I noticed something else astray. Where my department was listed it said, “Radiology.”
I pointed this error out to the security guard. You see, I don’t want to be misplaced or misquestioned or misdirected as a result of my nametag. In fact, I really, really would never want to sit in a dark room and look at images all day. As one of the medicine residents said, “You would rather fry things.” True that. I would rather fry things.
So, after a brief debate about how RADO is Radiation Oncology and RADS is Radiology, I got my ID. My properly labeled ID. So, someone doesn’t put me in the wrong place. I don’t enjoy prolonged darkness.
The daunting but exciting hospital ID adventure reminded me that I need to change some information here about me. I am no longer a fourth year medical student. I am no longer living on an island. My, the progress.
So, I am taking a big gulp and finally identifying myself as what I really am. Because that is what people should do.
In life sometimes, it is scary to identify ourselves with our actual group. Many people are, well, posers. They try to blend with the majority or act like a certain persona in order to fit in. It is good to fit in. Safe, even. But, when it all comes down to it, we need to be cautious about where we identify and who we are with. Otherwise, one might be shoved in a dark room with computer screens.
The people and places we associate with can influence us and our behavior. I lived on an island for four years and came out with an accent. If you hang out with the wrong crowd for too long, you can wind up acting just like them and vice versa.
In my undergrad, there was a point where a few people thought I was a “stoner hippie kid” because I sat at the back with my somewhat tattooed, hairy friends and we appeared to goof off. In reality, I was the top student in the class. Appearances are deceiving. But, some of those friends ended up not doing well at all because they began to not go to class and not try at their work to fit in with what people thought they were.
Christianity is the same way. Many people can call themselves Christians and are true believers and act in that way. Others, use the name, but really don’t fit the bill. People figure them out. Some people may transform because of their surroundings for the better, while others may fall away from the group entirely.
The thing is, people aren’t stupid. They can often sniff out posers. The people who bash other groups in the name of God, the ones who go to church on Sunday but are hammered most other days of the week, the people who overtly lie and cheat and steal. But, they still have the “Christian” label. And thus, they will texture the perceptions of Christianity.
On the other hand, some people come in posers and leave changed because of their new company. I have been strongly influenced by a number of close friends who dragged me to church and music nights and all kinds of other things. I pretended to blend, even though I was often called out for being different. And, in the end, I grew to be more like those friends in good ways.
Our associations impact people around us. I’m not saying that if my ID actually said Radiology that I would become a Radiologist, but if I were in that setting and made to see how great it is, maybe I would want to do it more. Or develop night vision or something cool like that. But, I am saying that the association would affect how people see me (completely different skill sets, etcetera).
I think it is good to reflect on our circles of friends, our pass times. Look at how they are affecting us as people, the people around us and our walk with God. Sometimes, it is good to ask for a change in your ID. Especially if it can be of negative impact down the road.