I believe that trusting relationships are the most basic of human needs and the strongest foundation for caring for one another. Despite that belief, it’s easy to get caught up in a one-woman hamster wheel of working, consuming media, and just being busy with the many tasks on my to-do list.
I teach our care teams about the power of human connection through eye contact, touch, and conversation. I teach them that each person has a unique worth from birth through the end of life, as fully capable human beings. I teach our leaders about the power of creating a culture of caring in a person-centered workplace in their responsibility to care for their care teams and families while becoming well-known to one another. Yet, I acknowledge that I sometimes take human connection for granted; I forget its value and forget to nurture it.
This 15 minute Ted talk by Elizabeth Lesser “Say your truth, and seek them in others” touched me, and I found new ways to strengthen authentic relationships in my life. Lesser challenges us to “Be like a new kind of first responder… the one to take the first courageous step toward the other.”
Elizabeth Lesser starts her talk with the lessons she learned from being a midwife. “Everyone in this room is a former baby with a distinctive birthright,” she says, and we are all possessed of a “unique spark.”
In this busy holiday season, I invite you to take 15 minutes to reflect on the relationships in your life. Authentic, genuinely caring relationships are at the core of everything that matters in the world. What greater gift can we give to another than the gift of ourselves?
About the Author: Jean Garboden is the Director of Education and Innovation at Compass Senior Living, located in Eugene Oregon. Jean is an Elder Advocate and Eden Alternative Educator with over 30 years’ experience in not-for-profit and for-profit health care organizations. She is honored to lead the mission and values culture development for Compass Senior Living. Jean lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where she enjoys the weather and volunteers with the Nevadans for the Common Good, advocating for caregivers and elders in southern Nevada