“Let quality be the constant and time the variable.”
Robert F. Barkley
As extreme and polarizing politics fill the air, inexplicable mass violence occupies the daily news, and the economy stumbles, many people today are fearful about the future, their financial stability, and even who they can trust.
When you think about it, it’s perfectly understandable that our patients – when flooded daily with cultural chaos plus their personal challenges – might be rethinking their spending patterns and re-prioritizing their future dental expenses.
But even in uncertain times, some constants remain. These are the things which all people deeply value such as family, friends, helping relationships, long-term goals and quality-of-life essentials.
In other words, we retain our dreams for life going forward weighed against today’s realities – as visions motivate and give direction and meaning to our life.
And this is true even when patients seem to be forsaking our well-conceived and supported dental health treatment plans. Our patient’s priories shift because that is the reality of life. Some decisions are difficult but essential at the time.
Bob Barkley spoke of helping our patients “future focus”, and what he meant was “values clarify”. If we effectively allow our patients to identify optimal dental health as a high priority in their life, it has a much better chance at competing as a high value goal in the daily shuffle of priorities.
Beyond that, we simply need to be supportive and lovingly responsive. Let’s help others make better choices – even if it takes longer than we would prefer.
Paul A. Henny DDS
Thought Experiments LLC, ©2017
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