I crave connection and respect. Not crave as a thirsty man crawling toward a mirage of water in the desert or a person constantly begging others to fill an overwhelming desire that can never be filled. Rather a need that sustains me and renews me. Connection and respect fuel my inner fire so I can meet the challenges of life, continue to contribute, and have space to be curious. It helps that I’m an extrovert. Connection and respect don’t cost much day-to-day, yet they’re long term commitments and investments. Connection and respect can be tough to sustain. I get crabby and self-centered, especially when I or someone I care for is sick or stressed. Then being an extrovert doesn’t help. Yet banking the investment of connection and respect pays dividends.
I’m impressed with how difficult it is to ask for help. We have as much difficulty responding to offers to help as asking for help. When our boy, Mike, was dying, people came out of the woodwork, offering to help. How to respond? How awkward! We had to add it to our weekly family care management meetings. What do we need? What do we say? Well, we didn’t think we needed much that those offering help could do. So we said that we needed food, companionship, transportation. We always needed a laugh and prayers. Caring helped.
So how do connection, respect, and help relate? When the norm is connection and respect it’s easier to ask for and accept help. I’ve made an investment and I’m drawing on it. I feel and show the value of connection, respect, and help. The national conversation about health and healthcare is mostly about the business of healthcare. It’s tough to put dollars to the value of connection, respect, and help. Yet our current system would completely collapse without it. At least we can honor and celebrate connection, respect, and help. My hats go off to you – you know who you are.