We have a saying around Medworks that we take very seriously. It simply goes like this: Make the Room Better. It’s an easy stretch to relate this to the operating room being as our business revolves around surgery. But more broadly, it could refer to any room, anywhere, whether we’re on the clock or not.
Perhaps this saying implies a lifestyle, or maybe a principle that has the potential to radiate like concentric circles touching the communities that surround us…and without exaggeration, the world. So, what if we could attune ourselves towards being aware of the room around us, leaving it better than we found it…and is there a way to embed this mindset into the culture of our businesses?
I believe it’s quite true that more of us would do something if we just knew what to do, but because so often we don’t know where to start, we don’t do anything at all. Which brings me to Medworks’ saying #2, in the form of a challenge: Get Uncomfortable! We know well that reaching out to others can require discomfort, especially if it’s to someone who might look different from us, act different, sound different, live different lifestyles, or have cultural differences. We’re humans. We like familiar, comfort, and predictability. Getting uncomfortable in this way means thinking differently, doing a 180, stretching, reaching, learning, understanding…and most importantly, doing.
Fortunately, Medworks is comprised of givers who are “gritty” to their core. They accept the challenge to Make the Room Better and they do it by getting uncomfortable. What if these folks joined together and created a “giving force” that well exceeded their individual capacity for giving? Is there a way to do business better while looking outside of our selves, beyond our own needs?
We think so. We have learned that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but rather we can partner with folks who are knowledgeable about hard issues and are actively engaged in addressing the problems. With that thought in mind, our individual and corporate response to outreach has become exponentially less overwhelming and our offerings more effective.
As a company we were challenged to get uncomfortable by something researcher, Angela Duckworth, said in her book entitled GRIT. She presents this intriguing insight:
Extracurricular involvement, especially when it lasts more than two years of high school, is associated with high grades and self-esteem, and it predicts college graduation and post-graduate earnings.
Further, Duckworth expresses concern about the income-based disparity in access to participation in extracurricular activities.
Being challenged by this, Medworks has located organizations, both governmental and faith based, that are actively addressing this problem. Additionally we are seeing the beginnings of businesses lending support financially as well as tangibly. We are being led on a journey of learning from others while stepping into the stream. Some of the support we offer is so very simple, as in offering transportation to and from extracurricular activities or providing meals to foster families. Other endeavors have involved collecting items to fill comfort bags for kids who are transitioning into foster care from crisis situations. And we now have one employee who lived 8 years in the foster system and is currently in what is called the “aged out” population (age 18 and older). We may think we’re teaching him, mentoring and providing him a great opportunity, but in actuality, he is teaching us. We are out of our comfort zone. It’s the best place to learn.
If you are moved by the news of kids being separated from their parents at the border, or kids who become refugees, kids who are in the margins and are at great risk due to no fault of their own, AND if you are reading this and your heart is saying I want to do something about it, then check out the websites below and make an inquiry. There are kids in crisis right here in our very own neighborhoods, and there are big and small things you can do about it right now!
Caring Clothes Closet – https://www.caringclothescloset.org
Fostering Acadia – https://www.fosteringacadia.org
VA Kids Belong – https://www.vakidsbelong.org
Fostering Hope – https://hopecentral.com/fosteringhope/
Or email Medworks – firstname.lastname@example.org
Get uncomfortable. Make the Room Better. You don’t have to know where it’s going to lead. Our minds were not designed to know the future, but our hearts were designed to love. Just be willing to start.