Sunday, September 22, 2019

Media Influencers: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

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 Life's Bar Up A 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. Third in a series of "cousins" within the past two years. That can be a long time or a short time, depends on your "point of view".

Most recently a cousin with early onset Dementia who contracted COVID while in a LTC, one that appeared to visitors and family to be a higher level of care and caregiving. 

By today's standards of "age", she was relatively young but she was still a "Senior".

A funeral just weeks before, other side of the family tree, my husband's side. A male cousin with a nickname the same as my husband's given name who left us ten years ago earlier this month.

This cousin fought the big "C", Cancer, as many are doing, for years. I sincerely hope we find a way to reverse "engineer" this horrid disease out of our bodies completely and not just "control" its progress as we seem to be doing now.

Let's go back in time, to the first of three cousins recently passing:

A funeral. Same Church Mom was taken to; her choice; our love of her to fulfill, to participate, to acknowledge 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 raising a family as we were.

We were so busy with "our" life and so focused on everyday while looking forward to special events, special times, again, focused on "his" family. 

The direction was always "moving ahead" against odds and challenges purposely moved aside to accomodate what appeared to be "for the best of each child" -- education, activities, family times.

We worked each day to prioritize 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 --  should now be able to be realized.

Actually, life has other plans and has had for all the years since standing beside two immediate family members and saying a final goodbye in this life knowing life was forever changed.

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 cousins have been faced with "the process" of the absence and change that accompanies losing a spouse or parent. 

Some would envy them for the years they shared, having lost loved ones at much younger ages or through more challenging times.

These "one upon a time"children, now grown and parents like those who have departed, move another step closer to the day when the line they joined having been born becomes the line they leave a space in for another to occupy.

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 to each step along life's continuing road very differently.

We are residents of the here and now asked to consider, evaluate and conclude about today, tomorrow and the future.

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