Community Connections for Health Care

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by Joan Bachman
Do you love to separate the Kids’ (Grandkids’) birthday gifts from packaging, open a box of cereal, unpack a new small appliance? Scissor – pliers – language – stomp my foot -- one of my major irritations. It seems to take as long to get at the product as to use it the first time. My bet is that if packaging were suddenly to be less complicated, besides losing packaging jobs there would be less garbage and recycling, the paper and plastic industries would shrink. Millions of individuals would lose jobs. So, I guess I have a responsibility to grin and bear the irritation and put up with the current system of product packaging to support the economy. My small irritation is scarcely worth eliminating jobs. (The state of the environment is a whole separate discussion.)

It seems the clothing fashion industry is also about packaging. I recently made a business appearance. My attire was much different than it is when I run to the grocery store, certainly different from my gardening garb. Why? I think my reasons were to make a statement about my status; for my self-esteem and acceptance by the audience. Perhaps also to show respect to the audience by making the extra effort. I sometimes wonder what message some fashions are meant to portray. The wearers’ business for sure, and I probably wouldn’t understand the message.

Aside from clothing, we expand human packaging to include attitude, choice of acquaintances and activities, as well as topics of conversation. Sometimes we reveal our "real" personality, sometimes we definitely act so people think they know us (employers or employees), or we may act in the manner we think others want to see us (family members). Humans are a complicated species. It might be a good idea to think on this topic every so often. The reflection could make a difference in understanding how we relate to the people in our lives and why we do or do not reach expectations and goals.

I hope I accept people for WHO they are, if they let me see that aspect of themselves. In today’s fast-paced world, if the individual is not family or co-worker, it’s difficult to spend enough time to share much of true personality. Even then, it seems some families are so involved outside the home there may not be honest sharing. Social media and technology obviously have a large impact on when and how we share face and touch time.

Today I’m watching the replacement of my concrete driveway. Maybe I’m “keeping up with the Jones’ ” or maybe I want to show that I have pride in my property. The reason at this time is certainly not to increase the value of the property, although the tax assessor may take a different view. Our homes (and our cars) do provide another form of packaging that shows what is important to each of us. An interesting exercise is to drive through different parts of any town to observe outward displays of the personal self-esteem of inhabitants.

Consciously or unconsciously we reveal much about who we really are by the ways we conduct ourselves all through life, one day at a time. It’s nice to know that we can change the picture if we don’t like what we see today. (Products, not so much.)

About the Author

Joan Bachman

Joan Bachman is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Registered Health Information Technician, and Faith Community Nurse. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Joan has experience as a Nurse, Administrator, Developer, Trainer, Grant Writer, and served as Administrator of SD State Survey Agency. She has consulted with health care facilities and nonprofit organizations and presented leadership training. Joan is the author of Guidebook for Assisted Living Facilities and Senior Service Providers and Guidebook for Physician Services in the Nursing Facility, and she has published in professional journals.


Vicki Schmidt

Great imagery and parallels. I always enjoy your thoughts and perspectives, Joan. Keep the blogs coming.

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