It’s good for people to align their skills sets with the requirements of the job. It usually maximizes one’s potential, increases job satisfaction and decreases stress.
I don’t want my police officers to be bad at de-escalating situations, for instance, or my doctors to be bad at diagnosis.
I also want people to use their skills sets for good and not for evil — transitioning the thief into a security expert who stops other thieves, for example.
Therefore, in our new world of “alternative facts” — which is both an oxymoron and an alternative name for “lies” and “deception” — I wonder whether there are situations in which deception is compassionate and desirable.
Yes. It’s important when interacting with people in the later stages of Alzheimer’s to “go where they are.” If mom is asking when dad will be in for supper, there’s no need to tell her that dad died eight years ago.
“Dad sure can get tied up in his work and lose track of time, can’t he, mom?” is a more compassionate and kind response.
The goal is not accuracy and truth. The goal is comfort. Re-direction, diversion, deflection – these are skills used to enhance a person’s comfort and ensure an enjoyable, stress-free, high-quality visit.
“Dad always loved your roast beef and apple pie.”
“I have some pictures of Amy that I wanted to show you. You won’t believe how grown-up she is now.”
“I bet Dad won’t be in for a while yet, so let’s have a snack while he feeds the cattle.”
Re-direction in the name of good equals making the world a better place.
It can be hard to provide these alternative facts to family members and friends, but it’s a trainable skill.
Who, then, could best provide this type of training to the caregivers of Alzheimer’s victims and other dementia sufferers? Who is seen continuously in the news as someone showcasing her superpowers in deflecting, diverting and distracting someone who asks a direct question?
The answer is obvious: it’s Kellyanne Conway, senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump.
Kellyanne, let’s see you harness your superpowers for good. Use them to make the world a better place instead of destroying the meaning of truth and journalism and damaging the democracy you proclaim to love.
Lying is not beneficial to a thriving democracy that speaks truth to power, values dissent, considers diverse views and looks to improve itself.
However, lying can be helpful, compassionate and kind in a late-stage Alzheimer’s unit.
So I’d like to suggest a career change for you, Kellyanne, something that aligns your skills with a job that improves the world You can be an advisor to the millions of caregivers worldwide.
Teach them how to redirect, distract and deflect in the name of goodness. Show agonized friends and family the joy and compassion of using “alternative facts” with loved ones living in an alternative world.
Start speaking the truth to Trump and your fellow Americans, or change your career.