During the past week it has been disheartening, to say the least, to watch and read the reports of the devastation inflicted on the east coast by hurricane Sandy. Although, there have also been some stories demonstrating the compassion one human being can have for another. Various news outlets, including the Associated Press, have been reporting that some people with electricity are sharing their power outlets with total strangers so they can charge their cell phones.
On its face, this may not seem like a very big deal. If fact some may call it a little ridiculous that people can’t live without a cell phone for a few days. However I ask you to put yourself in their shoes. If you are in New York for example, you are now in a city with more than 8 million people, with no power at your apartment, if you did have a car chances are it’s been damaged by flooding, and all methods of public transportation have been shut down. This all means you are stuck in the city with virtually no way of contacting the outside world, or receiving information from news outlets. With some cell networks still being up, this is really the only option most people have to get information about new developments on the storm and to also contact others. That little bit of electricity strangers have been handing out to other strangers means that loved ones can be called, information about people’s safety can be shared, and they can make progress back towards a normal life.
Dental offices can often find themselves in the unique position of being able to make a huge impact on other people’s lives. In a way, they are kind of like that stranger with the power outlet. There is no doubt at some point you are going to have a patient that needs help but can’t afford the entire cost of treatment. If that patient is able to get treatment in their most dire of circumstances, not only are you going to improve your chances of retaining that patient for life, but you could create a vocal advocate for your practice that is going to refer their friends and family.