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It’s Valentines Day, what do you expect me to write about?

Unblocking the drains? Unloading the dishwasher?

I guess, if you love someone enough, and there’s a job that needs doing, unblocking the drain might be an act of undying love? The dishwasher’s a bit of a stretch…

Most of us struggle through life dragging a pile of baggage, insecurities, agendas… or is that just me!

Love ain’t always easy.

Love your job?

I visited South East Coast Ambulance Service on Tuesday.

They all love their job.

They don’t like it when they get abused and messed about and they hate it when they have to tell someone the ambulance will be with them in hours and not minutes… but they love the job and it shows.

They’ve got it right…

Helping people when they’re at their most perplexed and frightened, has to be one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet… but you’d have to love it.

What makes a job, the job to love?

• Saying, ‘how can I help’ and knowing you can.

• Working with people that ‘feel right’. No job is easy, all the time but if the connection with the people around you is right… it’s right.

• Finding solutions together. ‘We’ve cracked it…’ What’s not to like?

• Being able to talk to the people around you. Share the ups and the downs. Not feeling a fool if you don’t know. Making it easy to ask for help.

• Learning together, training. Getting better at what you do… and a pride in the doing.

How about passion?

I’m always sceptical if someone says they are ‘passionate’ about their job.

Feeling intense, enthusiastic, eager… I get all that but a; ‘strong and barely controlled emotion’, as the dictionary defines passion, I’m not so sure.

We know, the majority of us go to work to pay the bills. If you can do that and enjoy it in the process, it’s a bonus.

There was a report, I think from Deloitte, that told us over 80% of people were not happy with their job. That leaves under 20% that are. How many would claim to be ‘passionate’? I dunno.

In the NHS things are different. People come to work with a strong sense of vocation. Is this another word for passion?

If you come to work and can motivate others, if sickness and absenteeism is low, there is a palpable loyalty and people create their own-work space and environment… we might be getting close.

If you work where you think you can grow, you have the time and space to do the job as well as you know how…

… that’s close.

If you can get things wrong and the people you work with will help put it right and you all celebrate success, however small…

… you are probably very close.

If working more, doesn’t mean carrying a workload and you put in the extra time because you are interested in what you are doing…

… that’s all close enough.

Love the NHS? A lot of us have reason to be very grateful for the courage it took to fight the political battle to create it. A lot of us have every reason to love the fact it was there when we had personal battles to fight.

Four years ago today we started The Academy of Fabulous Stuff. A free repository, share all the best stuff we can find. What’s not to love. Happy Birthday.

There is a passage about love, in Corinthians;

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

… cross out the word love, insert NHS. It works for me.

Today is a day for lovers. A day for unspoken kindness, a thoughtful moment. A day to say, I want you on my side. To say, as long as you are there, I’ll be OK. To say, why didn’t we meet years ago…

The day to say; I know dreams can come true.

The day to unload the dishwasher.

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Reproduced at by kind permission of Roy Lilley.