A Time for Reflection
By Jack Goodchild
We have arrived at the time of year when the holidays and the rush of preparation and celebration tends to raise our blood pressures, raise unrealistic expectations, increase our waistlines and to distract us from what we really should be doing as the year comes to an end. What we as individuals and as a community should be doing at this time of year is reflecting upon the year that has passed, the good and bad and engaging in introspection. Are we satisfied with how we have conducted ourselves? Are we pleased with what we have accomplished? Have we treated our fellow practitioners? Have we treated family, friends and acquaintances in the way we would expect to be treated? Have we contributed to making our world a better place or not?
Taking time away from the fray and banter of holiday rush and taking stock is a necessary and worthwhile endeavor. We need to do this to make our New Years’ resolutions meaningful and to endeavor to take the lessons we learn into the next year to improve not only our own lives but that of our entire community as well.
This past month we had the Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee Strategic Planning meeting. We met over a period of a few days and planned out our goals and projects for the year to come. In my role as Chair I set forward the overall them and goal of improving the reputation of our area of practice and our overall community. As I emphasized in my article in the recently issued edition Volume 32, no 3, 2019 I discussed my feelings about this subject in detail. I moderated a webinar on Fraud in our system last month. In our education subcommittee and our practice and Ethics subcommittee we plan to tackle this topic in greater detail with the probable input of members of the District attorney and enforcement communities.
My challenge to our community is this: Use this time of year to reflect on your role in either improving or diminishing the reputation of our community. Be honest with yourselves and resolve to conduct yourself and your firms in a manner which will bring respect to our community at large. As the play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart says in its title: “You Can’t Take It With You”. While we all need to make a living and to support our families, we do not need to consider ourselves hired guns for the highest bidder. The one thing we keep after we pass, and which is worth much more than money is our reputation.
Let us all strive to live our lives in a respectful and ethical manner. By working together to improve our mutual reputations and that of the system in which we practice perhaps we can make the next year the first of many to be remembered for the positive effect our mutual efforts have had.
I wish you all a very happy holiday season and a wonderful and healthy and ethical new year!