Politics at Their Best
“Things turn out the best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”
This John Wooden quote was embroidered in a simple frame and mounted prominently at the pain clinic – a gift from a patient. What a poignant reminder to look for the best – in ourselves and others.
We are in the midst of larger than life political banter again this presidential election year – with full-blown media coverage at every turn. And we certainly know “HCR” (healthcare, or perhaps more accurately health-pay reform) is on the political stage ad nauseum. So what is the best we might expect of the current political discussions and posturing?
Politics at their best are intended to help forge useful coalitions with a broad array of interests and individuals – both in and outside of traditional boundaries. To forge those coalitions requires strong leadership. Don’t we yearn for leadership that helps us to be our best – collectively and individually? If truly great leaders step up to demonstrate politics at their best, maybe the best outcome would be a healthcare system truly focused on helping people to be healthy.
My 88-year-old friend Lois always expected and acknowledged the best each day of her life. The trip to visit a friend halfway across the country was “the best trip,” the piece of raspberry cream pie at the local diner was “the best pie,” the service by the teller at the credit union was “the best service.” She meant it sincerely and did an amazing job of lifting up the givers – making them feel as though they had given Lois their best. She would acknowledge it with a prompt, handwritten note, “goodies,” or a gift she had carefully selected for someone, like the repairman, who had given her another “best” experience.
Following Lois’ example, let’s make the best of the November election results. Even without knowing what the impact might be for providers, we can help make sure the care provided and the service that goes along with the business of medicine is the best it can be. Maybe a Lois will be the next patient you see at your clinic. And maybe it will be the best experience she’s had at a clinic. That’s something you can influence – each day, with each encounter.