Pediatricians: The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. – Dr. Plastic Picker

Pediatricians: The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

| Posted in Climate Advocacy (AAP/Climate Reality/ClimateHealthNOW), Pediatric Advice

November 23, 2019

by drplasticpicker

Sea turtle in crayon by my patient Adeleine, aged 8. Posted with family’s permission.

“The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rules the World” was a poem written in the 1800s by American poet William Ross Wallace. Before it became a title of that god-awful scary misogynistic 1980s movie, it was a poem that glorified the power of motherhood. The second stanza,

Infancy’s the tender fountain,
    Power may with beauty flow,
Mothers first to guide the streamlets,
    From them souls unresting grow —
Grow on for the good or evil,
    Sunshine streamed or evil hurled,
For the hand that rocks the cradle
    Is the hand that rules the world.
– William Ross Wallace

And that really is my opening argument for why drplasticpicker exists. As I have moved into middle management, I have sat through many “leadership trainings.” Well meaning colleagues have given me, I kid you not, seven different books on leadership including the “Silent Leader.” Not sure how I’m supposed to run a meeting if I can’t say anything? I’ve flipped through them here and there. I have sat at many meetings, and have wondered why I was there. But through the years I have realized there is some truth to those trainings that could have been imparted probably more efficiently than 100 people sitting at a catered breakfast. What I do remember is “lead from where you are” and really “you’re only a leader if you have influence.”

Drplasticpicker was never a natural leader, but I am a natural child advocate and earth defender. Now I own the truth that being a “middle manager” has some influence but being a pediatrician and mother is where I have “light” and “sunshine.” “For the hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world.” It is us and the tidal wave of rising young climate activists, who will shape the world in generations to come. As a mother of two and pediatrician of 2000, I seek to “grow on for the good” and be “sunshine streamed.” I seek to be “sunshine” and light in this sometimes dark world where there is evil.

So I think there is “light” and “sunshine” when our little patients know we are willing to bend down and pick up ocean plastic pollution for them and the sea turtles. It is the same hand that examines their hurt knees and achy tummies. I think I am being a force of good when I mention to the teenagers about how I cleaned around the storm drains on my street, and also at the outlet to the Pacific where it is really kind of gross but I’ve found all sorts of intact Nerf dog balls that I’ve donated. It’s the same hand that does their neurological exam during concussion evaluations, and talks to them gently about consent in relationships and the dangers of vaping

It is Happy Indigenous People’s Day and Thanksgiving next week, and I feel grateful to be a doctor that cares for children. I am grateful to have stumbled upon being drplasticpicker. And I even feel grateful for being a middle manager, because the position that used to give me blinding tensions headaches for the first time in my life – actually gives me the ability to improve the lives of fellow pediatricians. Those headaches are gone. Rather than thinking of it as a position only of power, it’s a position “with beauty flow, Mothers first to guide the streamlets.”

So thank you Adeleine aged 8, who sent the first and only entry as of today for’s first art contest Your Sea Turtle in Crayon is a beautiful drawing. I especially love your use of blues and greens. The hearts on the turtle shell are simply inspired. Your picture prompted me to relook at this beautiful poem, and made me appreciate the children in my practice and also my colleagues. It also made me understand that rather than thinking of the world as “influence is power” as power is “light and beauty.” Your picture is “light and beauty” and you have influence and power. It is through you, that we have to change the world.

Its 612am on a Saturday! Time to return to the tangible world. I get to spend a whole hour on the beach this morning! Sometimes I’m not always happy-go-lucky. These are my more despondent thought

Want more poetry, come here and read some of my original poetry. This one was kind of dark. This one is about birds

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 thoughts on “Pediatricians: The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *