#1099 Singing doctor greets every newborn as a Future Important Person

Dr. Carey Andrew-Jaja

Dr. Carey Andrew-Jaja, singing to newborn in Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC

Dr. Carey Andrew-Jaja sings a welcome to every baby he delivers at Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. As an intern, he learned the practice from a doctor at Allegheny General. When that physician retired, he asked Dr. Andrew-Jaja to continue the tradition. He has been doing it ever since.

The singing starts when the baby enters the world. When the mood in the birthing room is right, Dr. Andrew-Jaja leads the staff in singing the birthday song to the newborn. Sometimes he adds a soothing lullaby, and he often comes into the hospital rooms of new mothers to sing “What a Wonderful World.”

After the Magee-Women’s Hospital posted a video of the singing doctor, Reddit picked it up, garnering nearly a million views. In the video Dr. Andrew-Jaja says:

When I’m singing to those babies I think that I’m singing to a future important person. That’s the credit I give to all of them. So, to me, it’s a wonderful thing in my hand, the miracle of life. And the rest of it is that it’s a beautiful world we live in. You forget about all the crisis going on everywhere for a moment, when you see that miracle of life in front of you.

It is easy to get sucked into the vortex of crisis and despair. We see plenty of reasons for hopelessness in the daily news. But every baby is a new spark of hope. We have a responsibility to welcome those new lives and to do our best to ensure they are loved and supported to reach their full potential. The future depends on that.

My thanks to Mike Lancaster for telling me about the good doctor.


#1093 Proud to celebrate growing diversity


Canada made same-sex marriage legal nationwide nine years ago. Not only did the country not fall apart, the family crumble, and morality fade away, that act in support of equality and social justice has had a healing effect. While we…


#1063 They focus on what’s right with youth

Mountain biking

SADI flips concerns about The Youth of Today on their head by focusing on what should be valued in everyone of us: ASSETS, not deficits. The small-town British Columbia youth organization has a mission statement focused on the positive: The…


#1060 Interviews for a job with 24/7 responsibility and no time off


Photo clip from Cardstock video below

Cardstore created an ad for the world’s toughest job. They set up video interviews and laid out the requirements:

  • no breaks
  • on your feet most of the day and night
  • lunch only when the associate finishes eating
  • great interpersonal skills
  • background in finance, medicine, culinary arts
  • willingness to give constant attention to the associateincreased work load over holidays
  • happy disposition.

Then they revealed the job. Watch the faces of the interviewees.

Thanks for the link, Linda Manning.

This post first appeared on Hope Habit.


#1020 Americans and Brazilians connect in one of the sweetest exchanges ever

CNA student and senior exchanging hugs; photo clip from below

CNA student and senior exchanging hugs; photo clip from video below

Hang on a second. I have to dry my eyes before typing this. I have just watched the YouTube video below, and I’m smiling through tears.

Two Brazilian companies, FCB Brasil (a marketing agency) and CNA (a network of language schools) have collaborated on a Speaking Exchange that connects seniors in American retirement homes with English-language students in Brazil. Thanks to video chat technology, the pairs connect in real time. The young people improve their fluency in English. Their surrogate grandparents connect with young people in a far-off country. Both broaden their perspectives, and the program offers solid educational value for students learning English.

I have no idea how many of the conversations are as touching as those recorded for the popular video, but I hope the idea goes global. Imagine what could happen if young people around the world connected with elders in other countries. They just might grow up rejecting cultural and political stereotypes. And given what we know about the impacts of isolation, we could expect seniors to enjoy better physical and emotional health in spite of mobility issues and distance from families.

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