Hospice workers know what material possessions we carry into the next world. None, nada, zip. We've seen and experienced people who chose to right relationships while they could, apologized for past transgressions, told friends and family they love them and made the most of each and every moment. People who followed their heart, spreading love, reconciliation and joy, often spoke of incredible visions as death neared. They experienced beautiful scenes with loved ones who'd gone before.
Yet most of us work for hospice companies that obsess over the material, collapse everything into money and measures, where management practices reveal an underlying distrust, even disgust, of employees and palpable ignorance of intrinsic human motivation.
What are hospice workers to do? Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's. Caesar's taxes and head counts are an older version of Gentiva/Kindred's productivity measures and EBITDAR targets. The corporate outcome-obsession steamrolls shiny mission statements and values that might actually inspire in a two way relationship. Top executives issue double bind decrees, no-win situations the little people must do their best to interpret and follow. They are damned if they do and damned if they don't. It's a sick spirit.
Unrealistic executive orders, that ultimately finger employees for failure, must be rendered back to the ugly senior management that spouted them. It's their ball, the only one to which they train their senses. Management's eyes sport dollar-sign shaped pupils. Their ears are steel drums which resonate solely with management exhortations delivered at a cadence only they can hear.
It is a time for prayer, for each of us to ask for God's protection of people who continue to live the heart of hospice inside a corporate Skinner box.
Lord help us set aside management discounts, manipulations and pursuit of surface images for real relationships, ones with depth and hearing, compassion and caring. Let us feed one another in ways that respect, honor and nurture. Give us the strength to do this in the midst of chaos driven by management inattention to eternal things. For all who lead hospice organizations change the focus of their eyes and tone of their hearing to align with and support the realization of your will. Help us create glimpses of heaven on earth with our words and actions, our thoughts and touch.May you be feed with eternal things such that you can help others.