This is a moment when my colleague and I seem to be witnessing the absence of human dignity, fear, sadness, anger. In reality that’s not so. The only thing that matters is the beauty of the moment.

When you work at Street Nurses, you want to see the beauty in every moment, even when you are confronted with what seems ugly and sad. A flame is waiting in each person to be recognized.

When you work at Street Nurses, you recognize that this flame exists, that it is beautiful and bright, whatever is said by the person you meet.

And that it takes time for the other person to accept that this flame of life is always present and waiting. That s/he has the right to experience it without guilt.

When you work at Street Nurses, you also encourage others to take responsibility again and tell them that they still have the choice: peace of mind over suffering and the constant feeling of guilt.

After all, we all know this choice – and that it is sometimes very difficult to make. We experience this every day, even though we are in different situations.

Compassion is without desire, without expectation. We don't want to change others because that would mean we don't accept them as they are.

All we can do is to be present and to share the light that inspires us to make it shine perhaps one day in others.

After we have assisted him and listened to him, the ambulance arrives. The man seems to drown in shame, sadness overwhelms him. But in his eyes we notice that he feels good, that he agrees with the choice he has just made.

He thanks us for our humanity, but it is actually he who made this choice and rediscovered his own humanity.

What seems horrible can also contain beauty. That is why this moment, however difficult, was one of my most beautiful at Street Nurses. At the same time, I was shocked and made aware of what’s essential.

Two weeks passed between this event and writing about it. I decided to choose light over shadow.

And suddenly I feel good.

Be a supportive pillar


(*) We do our utmost to respect the privacy of our patients and our professional secrecy. However, we want to testify to how they must survive and how we are working together to reintegrate them. As a result, the names of places and people are deliberately omitted or changed and real-life situations are placed in a different context. There is no direct link between the photos and the stories above.