At Visiting Angels of West Michigan we strive to make changes that improve our quality and delivery of care. A while back we rolled out a new call-in system which can update our computer with arrival times and ensure caregivers arrive and arrive on time. We made this change for a few reasons. The primary reason is because of the increased number of clients we serve with dementia, it is imperative for us to know that caregivers have arrived and are providing the care even if the client may not be able to recall if anyone was ever there.
I am so grateful that I can count the number of no-show visits on one hand over the last 10 years. But I do recognize that with 100+ visits a day, it is beneficial to be proactive any situations possible. We also find it difficult to manage punctual arrivals when we are in the office and caregivers work all day in the field. This system will provide a healthy accountability.
And so, recently we communicated these changes to 200+ clients and families. I find it delightful to talk with our clients and the conversations often leave me with joy in my heart. We serve a group of people who are generous with their appreciation and gratitude. I realized during this process that there are a few conversations that are marked by a cynical approach. Questions such as “who has ripped you off?” and “don’t you trust anyone?”
I find myself assuring them that we are implementing this to ensure each of our clients receive excellent care. I am struck by the tone of these conversations that stick with me and even though the positive comments are far greater than the cynical, why do the cynical comments stick with me?
I am grateful that I have learned to nurture my thoughts to focus on what is positive.
I am grateful that I have learned to consider the cynic to see if there is truth and if not, to do my best to not allow the negative linger.
I am grateful that I am wired in such a way that I do not use cynicism very often.
And yet, what can I learn from these lingering thoughts?
I am reminded that I have a choice in what I communicate and how I respond.
I am confident I want to leave a positive impact on the conversations I have.
I am grateful that I was able to engage in conversations that were positive and affirming.
I want to be able to offer an abundance of grace, recognizing that cynicism is often birthed in a heart that has been hurt or trust has been violated.
And so, tonight I wonder if you are a cynic? If you are, might you consider where it stems from and how it impacts the people you interact with?
Are you aware of how you react to cynicism when it is spoken to you?
Are you able to choose to focus on all that is good and let the impact of cynicism slip away?
I am fascinated by words and connotations the impact we leave when we walk away from a conversation. It might be cynicism (an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; skepticism.) or Sarcasm (the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.) But perhaps sarcasm is a good topic for another night!
Go and be positive in your thoughts, words and actions!