As interpreters, it can be helpful to keep a pulse on, well, everything. We never know when a current event might become a topic of conversation between a medical team member and a patient. Sporting events. Weather. Road construction. Factory layoffs. School events. Every topic is fair game. So, too, are topics on new advances and techniques in medical care, product recalls, new findings on the connections between lifestyle and health conditions. There is a seemingly endless line of topics that have direct relevance to the work of interpreters.
All this connectedness to current events – local, national, and international – can get exhausting and overwhelming. Much of the information shared via news outlets is not positive. Without question, there are many problems in the world. Without question, there are sharply contrasting views on how to solve these problems. It can make an interpreter want to retreat to a deserted island, or it can make an interpreter want to respond like an angry bull in a china store. I’m not sure how effective either approach would be, but I digress.
Without ignoring the real problems that exist and need to be addressed, it is also important to acknowledge the efforts that many people and organizations are making in an effort to fight the good fight.
Here are a few bright spots in the news in my local area:
“Hmong Woman Seeks Equality Through Dialogue” http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/26/am-american-hmong-woman-seeks-equality-through-dialogue/97089374/
“Center for Suicide Awareness Launches Spanish text support line” http://wbay.com/2017/01/30/center-for-suicide-awareness-launches-spanish-text-support-line/
“Interfaith Project Grows with “Interfaith II” http://foxcitieshabitat.org/2014/08/interfaith-project-grows-with-interfaith-ii/
Interpreters, as you work to stay up to speed on current events, be sure to keep in touch with your own internal temperature. If things are getting too hot, give yourself a break. Find some bright spots in the news to avoid overheating. It’s hard to fight the good fight if you’re running too hot for too long.
Interpreters, what are some of the positive news stories in your local area?