I've also met minor celebrities and sports figures. Interestingly enough, they aren't that interesting. At least not to me.
Many of our clients are well-traveled, sometimes by choice, sometimes for survival. Tucson has become home to many refugees and I have learned of cultures that I was unaware even existed. I had no idea of the plight of Karen refugees, nor what was going on in Eritrea and Somalia. The story of the Lost Boys of the Sudan became more than a sensational TV soundbite as many of them settled in Tucson.
Then there are our travelers from just south of our border, most are here trying to eke out a living doing work which is much harder than what I do, in much worse conditions, for much less money.
I have learned that if I am willing to listen, everyone has a story. In my 30+ years of attending births and taking care of new families, I have on a few occasions had bad experiences with people. But only a few. Birth is a time of vulnerability filled with stress and high emotion, not all of which is good. But I can truly say that the positive experiences far outweigh the negative. I have learned of places to which I might never travel, unimaginable strife and the cruelty humans can inflict on one another. But I have also learned about hope and the strength of the human spirit.
I have been changed by each story, each situation, each birth. I've learned that despite place of origin, or DNA, or language or religion, at the moment of birth, we have more similarities than differences.
Bringing a child into the world is the greatest act of hope there is.