Yeah, I've been a bit buried in work for harp therapy certification. So my knit socks for May and June are languishing, unfinished. And I'm okay with that. Maybe I'll catch up some day. For now, I want to share some things with you that don't have to do with knitting.
A week ago I got to play for a labyrinth walk, which is a form of walking meditation. Just that morning, the massacre at Pulse in Orlando had occurred, and it felt only right to be coming together for prayer and meditation as we each processed what had happened.
At work, we had just celebrated Pride month for the first time at our facility, a little shindig aimed at the staff. I have worked at several nursing homes, each stating that it is inclusive of people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity (not to mention everything else), but this was the first place where I really felt that was backed up with action, even though we still see ourselves as growing into the role. It is not enough to say on paper that you are welcoming to LGBT+ people as a healthcare facility; there is a great need for education and affirmation to really get the message out to a diverse group of people who form that facility. As we work to become better at caring for minorities such as LGBT+ people, we will become better carers for all people.
At my facility, we chose to celebrate the inherent value of each individual through a series of affirmations, as well as bios of famous people in the LGBT community. It's a start, but there is so much more work to do. I love that the affirmations gave us a lens to frame our approach to the people we care for.
This is something that needs to be embraced, not just for transgender people, queer people, straight people or gay people, but for people of different cultural and religious backgrounds as well--you know, the list goes on and on. It's not an issue of political correctness that we can easily dismiss; it's a matter of the essential work of valuing each person. This is what I believe is required of each of us. If a person of a different religious or political or sexual persuasion is placed under my care, I still am obligated to respect and honor this person and do everything in my power to treat them fairly and graciously; I don't get to dismiss them as too 'politically correct' for me to take the time to treat with decency. That would be called abuse or neglect. Perhaps it's a little easier in the nursing home than it is on the street or online, but it still holds true. That's the standard; that's the incredibly high ideal that will guide us to be better people, and it is the only way to live.