Beyond Your Priorities

Smart. Compassionate. Intuitive. Committed. I’ve long admired these qualities in Florence Nightingale, the British heroine who is credited with founding the modern nursing profession. Born into affluence, Florence refused to settle for the pampered lifestyle of high society women of her day. Instead, this determined lass focused on poverty instead of privilege, serving instead of superiority.

Just beforBritish Postage Stamp Commemorating Florence Nightingalee turning seventeen in 1837, Florence sensed her lifelong calling to infuse faith and mercy into her advocacy for the ill and the dying. I appreciate Florence’s spunk. I respect her unswerving devotion. She is the energy and empathy in every needle poke and comforting word that compassionate nurses extend.

Brave and resilient, Florence Nightingale led a team of nurses to care for wounded and disease-ravaged Crimean War soldiers and established the world’s first secular nursing school. Florence modeled unwavering dedication, living a life stripped of other people’s conventions and expectations.

Even simple things like listening to someone or asking about a person’s day moves us too beyond our own priorities to attend to others with genuine interest and ardent humility. The Lady with the Lamp would have it no other way.

 Brave and Resilient Tip #88: Move beyond your own priorities to assist others.


  1. I need to read more about Florence Nightingale!
    What an amazing lady!!

    • Florence would be a fascinating read for sure! I only shared a couple highlights about her. Imagine her gumption back in the 1800s.

  2. Jeanette Thomason says

    Love this. The Lady with the Lamp, to bring light whereever you go. Beautiful. So often I get annoyed and frustrated with interruptions and they really are God’s way of saying: *Stop. Listen. Look for the light. Be light.* I love your call to this and this reminder. And I love that old postage stamp honoring Florence. Grateful for this today, Beth, who is light.

    • Thank you, Jeanette! You are truly an enlightening model of patience and listening to others. Wouldn’t we have loved to had lunch with Florence?

  3. You always do this so artfully, my friend! Thanks for this word.

    • Oh, thank you, Nancy, for your kind words. Talk about attending to others ahead of yourself. Your senior living facility ministry to so many older folks over the years certainly puts you in the Florence ranks.