After months of sixth-grade play practice, the first performance of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar finally arrived. I was hoping for something a bit more upbeat, considering we live in the Northeast and had been digging out from under layers of snow and ice. And with all the comings and goings in our household lately, I actually did not know which part my daughter played.
Turns out, she was the "soothsayer," and had one line -- but a key one: "Beware the ides of March." For three of her four shows, she proclaimed it in all its foreboding glory. On the last, she got the giggles and could have been saying to Caesar something like, "I feel silly and I think someone on this stage is having gastrointestinal issues" -- but that's another story altogether.
All I kept thinking as her one line danced through my head was "Beware? Please bring on March in the year 2010." Would we ever see spring -- would what President Obama referred to as "snowmageddon" never end?
Of course, most of us look forward to spring and appreciate its sense of renewal and energy, but this year we really need it to come. And when the season finally arrives, we'll be even more appreciative.
Worse than snowmageddon, of course, and most heavy in our hearts and minds is the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti. As we interviewed one of this issue's WebMD Haiti Health Heroes, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, I was most taken by his moving account of seeing Haitian people peacefully wait for water in a single-file line for five days. No one fought over scarce resources, he told us, and they sang soulful songs to soothe themselves and pass the time.
I was inspired anew about the importance of perspective during difficult times. The day after talking to Dr. Gupta, I was home, snowed in by yet another winter storm. My mother called to say that three of the greenhouses on our family's horticultural farm had collapsed under the snow. She simply stated it as a matter of fact -- no angst. On the bright side, she added, the water well would be full.
And so, in between work conference calls and shoveling, I walked into the little winter wonderland behind my home and snapped some photos of how beautiful the snow looked. Life is, after all, about perspective. As we turn ourselves to spring, even though snow is still on the ground as I write this, let us always remember that things could be worse. Never lose that feeling, for it brings the utmost in a humble glow to us all.
Nan-Kirsten Forte, MS
Editor in Chief, WebMD the Magazine
P.S.: Also in this issue, you will see our announcement about our newest addition to WebMD: the WebMD Health Exchange, a new health networking service. If you're already a social networker, you will love it, and if you aren't and don't even know what social networking is, then you've found the right place to start. Join our experts and others like you in giving and getting help in a way that is simple, safe, and trusted. See you there.