Bark’s Bytes #25 | Sisyphus
In my last post I reflected on staying optimistic despite 33 years of feeling like Sisyphus from Greek mythology who, for eternity, is sentenced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only to watch it roll back down and the byzantine challenges we now face for something called Medicaid reform. My optimism was further inspired by a Father’s Day card from my three adult children and wife. Each had written a note that was both personally unique and blended well with the others. While keeping their messages private I can share that, “when needed”, I was described as firm, giving of advice, being there, and a pain-in-the-butt. If I could figure out how to make that into a catchy button I would wear it proudly. I also enjoyed the adage that I have grown wiser as my children have grown older. While I also received some nice presents, the notes are what I will remember.
If I have a point it is this – often times we do things that may not have an immediate impact and can only hope that someday it makes a positive difference. It is even sweeter if we happen to be present on those occasions. So, the following is a list of things to consider doing in the hope that someday it will make a positive difference in the lives of the people we serve and our local communities.
- Stay focused on processes that honor the client’s choice on the support needed for preferred housing, meaningful work, reasonable transportation, and genuine relationships. Clients want to be respected, given choices in their lives, and be valued in their communities, as we all do.
- Involve yourself in community improvement projects, model respectful behavior, lift others up, and expect that our civic and political leaders have a broader vision of what is good for our communities and the courage to find innovative strategies to confront the challenges we face.
- Secure meaningful work that is preferred by the client, completed in a setting of their choice, appropriate for their capabilities, with a consistent and desired schedule that generates a satisfactory wage. Moreover, if one performs any activity for any amount of compensation, they have a right to call it a real job.
- Yield to those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. For hate wears you down and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die.
- Push DHS to simplify and to support providers/caregivers in delivering services that measurably improve the lives of clients and their communities in a manner that is sustainable by the citizens of Minnesota.
- Heal thyself through devotion to an ideal or purpose larger than yourself, family and traditions, integrity and loyalty, having fun, and keeping things simple.
- Understand that it is no longer acceptable to just do good work. We must also tell others why the clients and communities we serve are better for our services being provided or accept not being valued by policymakers.
- Support the commensurate wage provisions as an important option for people with disabilities and vital to securing work from businesses that must be sensitive to production costs.
If you noted that the first letter from these bullets spells “SISYPHUS” then you know me too well and I hope my acronym didn’t cause TLDR (too long didn’t read) syndrome. For a variety of reasons we are not feeling particularly great at Merrick these days. Still, I know that we believe in what we are doing even when we do not always know what we might accomplish. Perhaps Sisyphus should be the DT&H provider mascot?