On 13 August 1910, Florence Nightingale died at the age of 90.
She was born in 1820, in Florence, Italy, the city which inspired her name.
She gave nursing a favourable reputation and greatly affected 19th- and 20th-century policies around proper care, becoming an icon of Victorian culture. She gained the nickname of “The Lady with the Lamp” for her night rounds carrying a lamp to aid wounded soldiers during the Crimean war (1854-1856). Other soldiers simply called her “the Angel of the Crimea”.
During her stay in the Istanbul suburb of Scutari, where she contracted the bacterial infection known as brucellosis, or Crimean fever – from which she never fully recovered-, she improved the unsanitary conditions of military hospitals, reducing the death rate by two-thirds.
From 1857 onwards, she was intermittently confined to bed but she continued her work on social reform and hospital planning from her bedroom. Her output slowed down only in her last decade, when she wrote very little owing to blindness and declining mental abilities.
Her experience during the Crimean War inspired not only her work to transform health care, but also laid the basis for National Red Cross, which still awards the Florence Nightingale Medal for nurses who have given exceptional care to the sick and wounded in war or peace.
⊕ “Mankind must make heaven before we can “go to heaven” (as the phrase is), in this world as in any other.”
⊕ “Happiness is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal or goal.”
⊕ “Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift-there is nothing small about it.”
⊕ “I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.”
⊕ “The martyr sacrifices themselves entirely in vain. Or rather not in vain; for they make the selfish more selfish, the lazy more lazy, the narrow narrower.”
⊕ “L’umanità deve saper creare un paradiso prima di poter “andare in paradiso” (come si dice), in questo mondo come in qualsiasi altro.”
⊕ “La felicità è la graduale realizzazione di un ideale o di un obiettivo degni.”
⊕ “Vivi la vita quando ce l’hai. La vita è un dono splendido, non c’è niente di piccolo in essa.”
⊕ “Penso che i sentimenti si sprechino in parole mentre dovrebbero essere tutti distillati in azioni che portano risultati.”
⊕ “Il martire si sacrifica completamente invano. O meglio non invano; poiché rende l’egoista più egoista, il pigro più pigro, il meschino più meschino,”