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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks


I love working with ratios when I’m teaching math. They are simple and straightforward, and no matter how much the student struggles with math, ratios seem to be doable.

In some of my research for speeches, I found an odd tidbit talking about ratios. It’s called the Magic Relationship Ratio, and it deals with the way our mind and our focus works.

Apparently for every insult or negative comment you receive, you need five positive ones to balance it out. It seems to be a universally accepted rule. No wonder so many of us don’t have enough confidence or get to feeling unbalanced.

It made me start wondering about ratios in general, and how precarious balancing is. For example, if we were to talk about the ratio of horrid, bitter, lazy workers to good, cheerful, efficient ones, I wonder what the ratio is? Sometimes it feels like it’s about 100:1. How many times have you come in contact with a disgruntled, snarling worker who literally couldn’t care less? I will admit though that lately it seems like the good guys are winning in my book.

A couple of days ago I went to CVS to get a “vacation supply“ of headache medicine for Madi‘s trip to Italy. Because it dealt with insurance, you know there was going to be trouble.

I spoke with the pharmacy clerk. She informed me that insurance would not allow it. I explained that my daughter would be out of the country for a protracted time. The woman understood the dilemma and suggested we pay for it out of pocket. After the numbers came in at almost $400, she told me to hang on while she tried something.

After working some kind of dark magic, she got me a two month supply for less than insurance would charge . She was amazing. First of all, she was good at her job. Second, she was helpful and efficient, and a miracle of miracles, she was actually cared.

I mentioned that about a month ago a snake made me hurt myself. I’ve been hobbling ever since. I went to an orthopedic doctor, and everyone was very polite and professional. A pleasure to work with. But nothing outstanding.

On Tuesday, I had an MRI. My initial contact was again very professional and serious. I was able to get her to smile, although she might have pulled a muscle doing so, but then she took me back to… Vincent.

When you hear people talk about the angels that walk among us, they might be speaking of him. I can’t quite put into words why I say that. There was something more intangible. His mere presence was comforting. He was kind and gentle. He wasn’t overly solicitous even though I was a tad, nervous and slightly claustrophobic. Elevators make me uncomfortable - an MRI was upping the ante a little.

Vincent carefully explained what he was doing as he positioned my knee. As he handed me earplugs, he told me the worst part was the noise. Before he walked away, he handed me what looked like an atomizer (the bulbous end) from an old-fashioned perfume spray bottle.

I asked what it was and he answered with “It’s an emergency call button.” He waited a beat, looked me in the eyes and said, “You’re never alone.“

He could’ve said 1000 different things, but none would’ve touched me the same way. People are scared and lonely more often than they are willing to admit. What if we let them know that more often? When the world is big and scary, just remember, you’re never alone.

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