This morning as I engaged in one of my weekly rituals, watching the Sunday morning political shows, I realized once again how often reality and fantasy blur. Just because someone holds a strong opinion it does not mean that it is backed up by facts or substance.
Take 2 of the topics this morning. First, the now-infamous couple of reality-show aspirants who crashed a White House State dinner, and were able to mingle with dignitaries including the President and Vice President without being detected. In fact their caper came to light only after they proudly posted on their Facebook page several pictures of themselves posing with various guests.
Belated investigation of this couple shows that they have a largely manufactured background based on fantasy, and the desire to be famous. They are not willing to put in the time and work that would result in recognition based on achievements and substance.
The other hot issue related to healthcare reform. On various shows, those not in support of the healthcare plan as presently proposed, included a former presidential candidate turned talk show host. Instead of a substantive debate they parroted talking points of a government take over, massive deficits and the death of the free enterprise system.The ex-presidential candidate even totally mischaracterized The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA). including what the acronym stands for. He called it the Tax Equity and Family Relief Act (emphasis added).
One gentleman referenced the recent controversial recommendation by U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) against routine screening mammography in women between the ages of 40 and 49. He suggested the initiative is a "sneaky government ploy to limit access to healthcare in order to save money." This is just the first step in a very orchestrated plan by the Obama administration, he claimed. How bizarre.
I have long advocated a vocal, proactive stance by clinical laboratorians to rehabilitate our image and educate others about the importance of our profession. But in order to truly "bring it" we have to come from an authentic position based on facts, strength and truth, unlike the examples above.
Bring more than talk. We have to be able to not just talk the talk, but also walk the walk. We have to not simply repeat platitudes, but be competent, educated and current enough to know what we are talking about. We must be able to produce what we claim we can do.
Bring a current position. Referencing historical facts brings context. But other than using it as a point of reference or as an example, what is past and done with is of no significance. We have to live in the present, with new facts, the latest science, the current realities.
Be prepared. It takes more than passion to articulate a position, to convince someone and to succeed. In order to succeed you must be able to cogently explain your position and back it up with verifiable facts-not half truths, not wishful thinking, not fantasy.