I’ve written several times in the past about the importance of making an Advanced Directive or a Living Will, or both, for the purpose of controlling your last life decisions. Ever since the USA case of Teri Schiavo, (my apologies if I misspelled her name) it has been obvious that clearly communicating your plan for the end of your life is of paramount importance.
I already have a legally binding Living Will, and another legally binding Advanced Directive. But, I’m choosing to take the entire matter one step farther. I’m getting a tattoo in the center of my chest that will read “NHM – see medical alert bracelet”. The medical alert bracelet has digital copies of both the Living Will and the Advanced Directive on a flash drive contained within it, and the NHM stands for “No Heroic Measures”. As far as I can tell, this is the final step in making absolutely certain that ALL first responders will know exactly what my wishes are.
The whole point of this is to prevent the first responders (EMT’s, paramedics, Law Enforcement personnel, and other people who might initiate life-saving actions) from taking actions that may result in bankrupting my wife if I’m involved in a catastrophic event of any kind.
Yes, I want to live – but not so much that I want to live with the assistance of expensive equipment that can’t guarantee my chance of recovery. My wife’s future is more important than my survival.
Last week I posted a blog where I questioned what the difference was between personal integrity and trying to get along with my family when I knew things they wouldn’t or couldn’t acknowledge. I continued to question that for several days after posting that blog.
Last Friday evening I had a light-bulb moment, which was quickly confirmed by an email I found that Anita had sent shortly after my blog posted.
Basically, there isn’t just one truth. There are different truths for every person walking the planet. Personal integrity is all about YOU remaining true to your own view of the truth. But, it does not mean that everyone else isn’t also doing their own best to do the same thing – remaining true to THEIR own view of the truth. Every person on the planet wants nothing more than to be right – which is why peer pressure is such an effective means of social control. How many times in your life have you done something you thought was crazy or silly just because “everyone else is doing it”?
Where we venture into the realm of social peace and global stability is when we acknowledge these truths and grant others their own point of view without trying to force ours on them. We can all be right, even when we disagree.
After my post yesterday, Anita sent me an email with a graphic she valued as almost a personal mantra. What she shared was that a two word phrase was the key to defusing conflicts. That phrase was “You’re Right”. Supposedly, my saying that to my family would be the end to our troubles, but only if I not only said it to them, but actually mean it when I say it.
The problem is, I have done the research, and in the cases of trouble within our family I have lived through the incidents. I know that historical evidence proves they are NOT right. To say “you’re right” to any member of my family, and actually mean it, is to deny FACTS. I fully understand why it is important to acknowledge another person’s point of view, but to deny documented facts goes against everything I’ve ever been taught to believe – even what my parents taught me.
So, the question becomes, “at what point is family harmony worth more than the truth?”
As it is right now, I can’t sacrifice my own integrity to restore harmony in my biological family. It would kill me as a spiritual being who is striving to reach the next level of enlightenment. I feel that I must honor what my own experience says is true, even if it leaves them behind.
Wow – we literally just said goodby to television legend Betty White, and I’ve learned of the passing of another legend – Sidney Poitier — who among other great movies was the star of “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner”. Best wishes on your next adventure Sidney – you will be missed.