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Who is Your Glue?

Jan 19, 2022 4:37 pm

I’ve often talked about the nurses in my clinic as being the glue, the clinic glue, my personal glue. Without them, the day and task would never go as well and just might crash and burn, if not for their steadying influence.

Surely you have used or heard of “<the person> who was the glue that held the family together”.

If you’ve watched the recent 8-hour Beatles documentary, Get Back, you can see the relationships and how it influenced their success: Paul the driving creative artist, John the flawed, leader with brilliance, George as a doubting guitarist wanting stability and then Ringo, the glue to the band. Ringo was always on time, without drama and keeping the beat that allowed four individuals to be one band.

That glue person, like Ringo Starr or my great nurse colleagues, is not of one phenotype. They come in all sizes, shades, personas and skills. But they are unifying, steadying, cohesive person or force or background to your – clinic, life, business, family, and class.

Glue binds, holds, stabilizes and is needed most when “it” is unraveling and not going well.

Isn’t “glue” ubiquitous?

Trust is the glue that makes us unified and safe. Trust is the glue of relationships; without it we are alone.

Ritual and order are unifying; without it we are random and without expectations.

Art (dance, music, Jackson Pollack) is the glue that enjoins a community and can sustain you.

Your place (country, home, culture) is the glue where you see your best self. Everyone has a need and right to their place.

Adversity gone wrong is destructive, divisive and ugly. But adversity gone right, maybe the strongest human glue. The challenge to adversity, is whether you can muster the glue to find the good.

You are the glue to those patients who come with broken, fall-aparts, that don’t work right. Yet, you aim to make it right with your glue. You may not make them new, but your glue can make them whole again.

Who, what and where is your glue?  Find, replenish and rejoice in it.

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject
Dr. Cush is the Executive Editor of and also Co-Edits the online textbook 
Dr. Cush's interests include medical education, novel drug development, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, drug safety, and Still's disease/autoinflammatory syndromes. He has published over 140 articles and 2 books in rheumatology.
He can be followed on twitter: @RheumNow

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