Sunday, September 22, 2019

World Of Differences: RIP Jesse Combs: a lesson she continues to teach

Media sets the pace in the length of our strides and often tries to determine whether we walk or run and in which direction.  

Ever so slowly over many years the "personality newsperson" has edged into the industry and now appears to be, at least on the national level, the rule rather than the exception.

There are thousands of "media influencers" many of whom we can carry in the palm of our hands or out into far corners of the world; they have great power to wield.

Took a few minutes to watch CBS several mornings ago and listened to a report on the female race car driver who was killed trying to break the women's land speed record.

On line and on screen Jesse Combs was referred to as the "fastest woman on wheels". 

CBS made a point of showing how "different she was" and citing how she did many usually "male" activities like repairing cars.

This comparison to what is typically "male" and typically "female" continues the division and the separation of men and women in STEM and in the work community in general.

Media who continue to use terminologies and comparisons from "another century" fail to serve the public for whom they work and often cause continuation of past practices of discrimination and lack of inclusion.

Competition. Sports and activities throughout our early lives build into us the NEED to "rise above, stand out, be first".

Less time is devoted to Team Work, supporting others in achieving goals, with more time devoted to those who "stand  out" rather than building the skills of those "with ability" being not chosen, not selected, overlooked and undervalued.

Our educational system is based on individual achievement and measurement and so is the majority of our work evaluation. 

The most admiration seems to go to the "winning team" or the "top achiever". We're not taught enough to value the experience, the "working together".

Even in sports that are "team oriented" we seldom see the team as a group lauded for their achievements -- we feel a need to "single out" and "find" one or a couple of "outstanding athletes" giving awards, higher compensation and recognition.

However, a few months ago when the St Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup, we saw how teamwork wins -- they were a unit, they worked together. 

There were outstanding plays and exceptional players but the focus each one gave was of the group and the people who supported and believed in them.

And, today at all levels on rinks around America you'll see some young girls and young women out there, showing how they can move alongside, with and independently to "bring home the gold" as a team.

When the St Louis Blues "brought the cup home", they didn't "hide it" -- they took it and continue to take it around the St Louis area allowing more people than ever before to be a part of the "achievement", to feel "they too" had participated and "brought home the cup".

Young boys AND girls have touched, felt the pride and seen the possibilities of hard work individually and as a team. 

Way To Go Blues!

Even their "image" of "Gloria" and "Stanley" sets a new level of recognition for a sports "mantra" to be shared.

While singular achievement is critical to a society, working together is also critical to asking questions and finding answers. 

One person may discover but it often takes a community, a group, a team to bring the idea to fruition.

In my current search for enlightenment in the Senior Long Term Care "industry" I believe it's not just the facilities but also society, groups and organizations and especially laws and practices at all levels that are the challenges to ensure we grow older and walk our live's path not dreading or fearing what's "to come".

I cannot look and not seek to learn when I  find a problem.

It often sets me on another journey I'd not seen or preplanned but life is not always as we'd planned, as we wanted, as we believed it would or should be.

And it often brings me and those who choose to learn....enlightenment.

It's our choice, yours and mine, individually, if we accept and simply wait our turn or if we choose to recognize and shine the light for others to follow and understand. 

It's when we build awareness, foster involvement and encourage action we teach a lesson and learn from it at the same time.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Generational Shift; Moving The Bar To My Level

A death of someone close or closer in age reminds us of our own mortality. 

We listen, watch and learn as we see others move along the path of life, dying and death.

A funeral. Same Church Mom was taken to; her choice; our love of her to fulfill, to participate, to ackowledge her departure.

A cousin by marriage. Close in age but not really close as we lived "in the city" and she and her husband lived "in the country" far enough in time and distance and leading their lives having and raising a family as we were.

My time. But it really wasn't. Thinking back. Yes, there were occasions, events, special times. 

The direction was always "moving ahead" against odds and challenges purposely moved aside in order to move ahead -- education, activities, family times -- prioritizing the positive while dealing with the negatives life hands out without any respect for to whom, when, where, how many times and how much disturbance is given.

Now I supposedly have "my time". 

Desires to continue to become -- before my time not to have choices, preferences, capability and capacity enter my life's door and that final curtain is drawn.

Life isn't selective although it often feels like it is; we are born, we live and we pass through this life.

No matter what you believe about here, now, there, whenever, as we walk, run, stand and wait watching others and ourselves move through life challenges, it's always a learning experience.

My cousin is now faced with "the process" of the absence and change that accompanies losing a spouse of many years.

Remembering the "period of adjustment" most in our age group went through as we married and started "cohabitating" -- so different from many today who chose to live together.

I wonder....if/when they marry and one or the other departs this life...will it be the same....I think the loss will be but the memories will be slightly changed.

How do we react to the loss? Each of us has our own tape measure; each of us has a life affected in different ways and so reacts at the moment and each step along life's continuing road very differently.

Some judge. Some evaluate. Some decide. The "some" being family, friends, acquaintances even. 

Sad but true; others are really thinking either been there, done that or glad it's not me or what now for her/him.

We are residents of the here and now asked to consider, evaluate and conclude about today, the future and the hereafter -- meaning our leaving this life.

Best we can do, in my opinion, is stop judging, start talking and above all live today as it will soon be tomorrow built on yesterdays.