In the Likeness of Florence Nightingale

In the Likeness of Florence Nightingale

Today, I take a walk down history lane to look at one lady known to many of us by name and probably little of the work she accomplished. By celebrating Florence today, I celebrate you as well. You, the woman who has chosen to create value to modern humanity with your God-given ability.

This world has had millions of people live in it at any given point in time. Not all of them have gone ahead to occupy special places in our hearts. Not many of them managed to ensure that their legacies outlived them long after they were gone.

It takes great value, devotion, character, and drive to be the Florence Nightingale of this century. Sometimes it doesn’t take the whole world to be Florence herself, it just takes being great to that small community in which you reside and work. It simply takes being of value to that family you were born into to be “Nightingale.”

Florence Nightingale was born on May 20, 1820, in Florence Italy. History serves us right that she was born to an affluent family. Her mother, Frances hailed from a line of wealthy merchants and valued mingling with prominent people in her society then.

Florence on the other hand was a shy girl. She tried as much as possible not to be the center of attention in social cycles since it is reportedly said that she felt awkward. However, she often didn’t go along well with her mother whom she felt was overly controlling.

By age 16, she understood quite well that nursing was her calling. She had begun helping the sick and the poor in her neighborhood from a very young age. She had a conviction that for her, nursing was a divine calling and she made it known to her parents.

Her parents didn’t support her move. They disguised the nursing job as lowly and expected their daughter, given she came from a wealthy family, to find a man of means who would marry her. She declined a marriage proposal at 17 to pursue her nursing career.

By 1950, she moved to Middlesex and took a nursing job there. She devoted herself deeply to the nursing work until it took a toll on her. However, her efforts were recognized as she stood out from the rest of the cream. In 1853, the British were at war with the Russian for the control of the Ottoman Empire. Florence was asked to mobilize for nurses to help attend to the burgeoning numbers of casualties from the war.

From her experience in the war and the management of the situation that had not been prepared for the high number of casualties in the Crimean war in all aspects, she would go ahead to champion and devote her efforts towards disease prevention and ensuring that the poor and the suffering were cared for properly.

In 1960, she funded the establishment of the St. Thomas Hospital within which was created the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. She lived for what she believed. She ensured that she gave her all towards the betterment of humanity and this world at large. So, who was she?

Florence was a courageous woman and so are you. You may not realize how many people you encourage, but be aware that you have encouraged more people to be as courageous as you are. And what more do I ask of you? To keep at it. Continue working harder and devote your time to those you love.

With your positivity, just like Nightingale, share it out. It is awesome some people complain of the cold food whereas you become grateful that at least you got to eat. Whereas some people choose to concentrate on the problem, you concentrate on the solutions. Excellence will follow you.

Sometimes it only takes a smile to bring hope to the sick and hopeless. As a nurse, Nightingale had to keep her smile with her as a compassion tool to those she advocated for and attended to. Don’t let that smile of yours stop radiating this world and our everyday moments. It creates awesome moments worth looking forward to.

You don’t have to be the world to the world. The world is already is. But you can choose to be the world to someone and it will bring all the difference. Passion and a burst of good laughter are spread around as though through induction. Carry yours with you along every single day. We will need them a lot in this journey of life.

I conclude by urging you in the words of Florence Nightingale, “Mankind must make heaven before we can ‘go to heaven’, in this world as in any other.” Do what you can to ensure that you and I create much value for others in this world however little it can be and not that the world to see, but that rather it may bring meaning to the reason we are living at such a time as this.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Politics, Policy, Technology, Current Affairs, Opinion, Agriculture, Energy, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance, International Emerging Issues, Society, and culture. For featuring, promotions or support write to us at
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