5, 4 Friday

Thanks for joining us today. It’s Friday already and that means we do things a little differently.

Rather than focusing on a single topic I take this day to share somewhat random thoughts on things that pop up and stick in my head. 

On this edition of “Becoming Today” we’ll look at five of those for this Friday. Beginning with the ridiculous and hopefully finding something sublime to share.

From the always read the fine print file, a post has gone viral after a young woman dealing with a chronic condition found an usual charge on her doctor’s bill. 

She was charged $40 for crying. 

Dealing with pain as well as the emotions surrounding her not getting answers to help ease her pain she notes she did have visible tears, but was not in a breakdown, nor did she receive any kind of care for her emotions. 

While  since 2015 federal law has mandated patients be screened for signs of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety, suicidal risk or substance abuse, that’s widely done via form handed to you at registration. 

She never filled one out and said while the doctor noticed her tears, he said nothing. She never spoke with a specialist, was not referred to anyone, no prescriptions were written and nothing was offered to assist her with emotional symptoms.

Her post also brought to life numerous others noting the hidden costs of their so-called healthcare. Another woman shared that she only learned of having a test performed after an unrelated procedure. 

She tweeted about her experience, “ When I got surgery this past June to remove a tumor, I asked them what “Women’s services’ ‘ was for. It was for the pregnancy test they administered. $1,902 to pee and for them to dip a stick into it”.

There seems to be quite a markup on that service….

Plus that test was also more than the costs for diagnostic imaging ($1800), pathology services ($1400) and hospital supplies ($1075).

Now before you say well with inflation, let’s look at this through a lens of common sense. 

Yes pregnancy tests, available over the counter have gone up in costs. They are no longer one-dollar as they were a year ago, today you can buy one for the increased price of one dollar and 25 cents. 

Yet in a hospital setting similar technology is being “sold” for nearly $2,000 dollars .

Using a  simple free online calculator, that is a markup of around 160-thousand percent. That is a one followed by a six and then four zeros. 

Yes it’s legal. Due in part to legislation and regulations that were written in part by insurance company lobbyists and Congress approved them in your best interest. 

While politicians note our pain with the current rate of inflation, which as of my writing this is 8 point 3 percent, how can they feel justified in allowing you to be ruled by a system that inflates prices by hundreds of thousands of percent? 

Now from something absurd let’s continue on with something ridiculous, that may at first seem silly, but remember these things set precedents.

A couple in India is suing their son and daughter-in-law for the equivalent of  $650,000. Why?  For not “giving them a grandchild”.

They claim their son is inflicting “mental cruelty” on them by not producing a grandchild. They arrived at the figure by calculating I guess what they perceive as their son’s bill? 

The couple’s financial demand is based upon their claims to have spent that much on their child throughout his first 35 years of life. Including his education and seeking to recoup the cost of a car given as a wedding gift. 

The court filing does not discuss whether there is a medical reason for the lack of conception, nor does it give a reason why they feel entitled to a grandchild. 

Unfortunately silly lawsuits like these occur all the time and cost untold amounts for everyone that lives within a jurisdiction as courts have full dockets and people who work in the judicial system are paid while dealing with the possibilities for these things to be argued. 

Yes they do happen around the world. I can recall several seemingly silly instances that forced additional expenses because the laws that allowed the conditions to exist had to be changed or removed from the books.

About three decades ago, I remember covering the case of a man who sued for divorce on  the grounds of infidelity and wanted his wife and her lover to be put on public display in “stocks”. 

The man, an attorney, knew that long forgotten laws prohibiting adultery were still part of the codes in Massachusetts. 

Once a law or regulation is passed they can be enforced, until they are officially rescinded. One would hope common sense would prevail, however look at how courts  and many legislatures are manipulated on a regular basis. 

Now here’s some fine print that also shouldn’t go unnoticed. Though this one is because more people should be adopting these attitudes. 

According to INC, Tesla has a 10-word rule every employee has to follow.

Included in federal filings inside of a 144-page required report dealing with the efforts the company has made related to its environmental, social, and governance impact was a simple yet brilliant sentence that speaks volumes. 

As, @JASONATEN noted in a section about corporate governance, which he explains is “generally the things a company does to ensure it isn’t doing anything illegal, unethical, or otherwise bad for stakeholders”, was the following statement:

“Tesla aspires to be a ‘do the right thing’ company.”

Aten commented, “ Telling your team what you aspire to become creates a standard by which every person in the company can measure every decision they make. That kind of principle affects everything you do. It defines whom you hire and how you treat them. It also determines how you interact with your customers. It determines how you lead. 

It also acknowledges that Tesla doesn’t always get it right. Companies are made up of people, and people don’t always do what you wish they would do. Sometimes they make decisions that aren’t in the best interest of the company, its customers, or its shareholders. 

As a leader, your job is to make sure everyone keeps those 10 words at the forefront of the decisions they make. Your job is to be sure that your team is moving in the same direction as your aspirations. It doesn’t happen unless everyone buys in”.

A major corporation with international reach publicly stating a desire to achieve more than record profits. A company that accepts responsibility and realizes they are made of people, and no one is perfect. That they should combine their focus to grow and develop together for the overall good.

Some very “Becoming” qualities…

McDonald’s also made some headlines this week,not for growth or profit losses but for stepping away, in an effort to do the right thing. 

As the Associated Press reported, De-Arching: McDonald’s to sell Russia business, exit country, the company is not only ceasing all operations in Russia, it is also taking care of their employees.

In response to the Russian invasion and atrocities in Ukraine, the iconic Chicago based company is selling its 850 restaurants in Russia and is seeking a buyer who will employ its 62,000 workers there. 

With the doors already closed, in addition McDonald’s is continuing to pay those workers and will do so until the deal closes.

McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempczinski in a letter to employees noted this is the first time thee company has ever “de-arched,” or exited a major market, however they decided to do so because “it is impossible to ignore the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.”

Adding that “providing access to food and continuing to employ tens of thousands of ordinary citizens, is surely the right thing to do”.

While there are far more headlines decrying corporate greed and malfeasance there are some examples that need to be spotlighted when private enterprise is doing more to lead than those who are sworn to, as well as claim to desire to serve and protect their people. 

And in our 5-4 this Friday, I want to share some thoughts about overcoming reacting. 

Far too often people wait until it’s too late and opt to react to a situation rather than having the mindfulness to use the ability to be more proactive. 

 What I’m urging is for more to take action rather than wait to have a reaction.

As Chuck Swindoll so eloquently put it, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”.

That shows that you can control your responses as well as guard against those attempting to manipulate and misguide you by evoking faux outrage. 

When you choose to react, rather than consciously act, you are becoming a slave to your emotions.

Living a reactionary life is superficial and only feeds your ego, not your soul. 

I am inviting you to take the proverbial high road. 

Make it your practice to surrender the need for control and having to have all the answers.

Take a step back and surrender what is happening and trust. Lean on your faith and allow it to guide you from a place of compassion, love and understanding.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look back at the week that was here along our shared path. It will be another wide ranging discourse meandering from simple words to recommending fruitful endeavors to searching for fools while illuminating grace.

In the meantime have some fun. Smile and maybe even belt out some off key unmelodious lyrical memories like, 

“Sing, sing a song

Let the world sing along

Sing of love there could be

Sing for you and for me”.

That’s what I intended to do and then we’ll meet again here, on our next edition of “Becoming Today”. 

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