“Be a living expression of your values, wear them, speak them, make decisions aligned with them.” ~Anonymous
Living Your Values or Are They Just Words?
Knowing what you stand for and living your values is not always an easy thing to do. This is true for organizations as well as individuals. In fact, it seems like it is getting harder and harder to always do the right thing, especially when it feels like so many others are doing the wrong thing. Which is why I believe it is even more important to act in alignment with your values and to do what is right today.
Recently, my brother Billy was hospitalized for some health issues. Part of his recovery is going to a nursing home for rehabilitation. By the way, Bill is special needs.
In the conversation with the case worker to help find a place for him, I saw Mount Alverna Nursing Home in Parma, Ohio on the list. My parents had been there a number of times along with many of our family members. In fact both of our parents passed away there.
However, there was a large red-hand under their name indicating that they had a recent abuse violation and a 2 Star rating, it said: Because of a recent abuse citations, the maximum this facility can achieve is 2 Stars.
Forgive & Forget
Digging into the matter a bit deeper, before trying to get Billy there, I found out that a worker verbally threatened a patient. This seemed totally against everything this organization stood for as they are a Franciscan (Christian) institution.
My first couple of thoughts were: things happen, okay…they fired that employee, it is really hard to find employees these days, people make mistakes, etc., My brother Ken and I decided we would let this go.
Ironically, during my conversation with the hospital case worker, I explained that Billy had been there before and had a contentious verbal exchange with one of the nursing staff a few years ago.
I wanted to be upfront because, well, the facts are the fact and it’s just the right thing to do. I actually said to the case worker, “Wouldn’t it be ironic if they don’t let him in for his incident, especially since he is a special needs patient, and we’re willing to overlook the abuse violation?” We chuckled.
A few hours later, she calls me back and said, “We’re a go!”
Mount Alverna – Here We Come!
Bill ended up having some complications so the transfer was delayed. After a few days, Bill was given the go ahead to start rehab, Mount Alverna, here we come…NOT!
After two conversation, one with the case worker at Mount Alverna and then the director of Mount Alverna, they refused to accept him, citing his incident from a few years ago. Seriously??
Can you explain Mr. Director as “I am confused?” “Doesn’t your decision go against the teachings of your founder and your Christian values?” You know the whole thing about about compassion, forgiveness, WWJD, etc.
I asked the director if he saw the irony of the situation, how is it that we are willing to look past the abuse violation, but you’re not willing to forgive a special needs patient for something that happened years ago?
He seemed pretty proud of himself when he said “I am very upfront about the abuse, we self-reported it!”
Wow, that’s impressive, you did the right thing. Really? Isn’t that what your values and your founder profess?
Trust The Process – Live Your Values
So why am I telling you this?
Sometimes you just have to trust the process, accept what is happening, and walk away. Especially, when someone else’s values are out of alignment with your own or you find out that who they profess to be, is not who they are.
Writing a mission statement, posting your values on a website, professing your values or your faith (publicly or privately) doesn’t mean a damn thing if your actions don’t align with your words.
There is a universal law written about by Emerson. It is the Law of Compensation and it states; what you do, the actions you take, and the thoughts you have, directly impacts what you get back in return. In other words “you reap what you sow.”
If you have values that guide your life, don’t let them be just words you speak, words on a piece of paper, or ideas that roll around in your head or out of your mouth. If you don’t, let this be a prompt to get clear about what you stand for and what drives your actions.
Remember to always be true to yourself and others and walk away from people (physically & mentally) whose values are not in alignment with yours…no matter the cost!
Then watch life give you back such amazing gifts, that you will be astounded!