I have a hunch we have all heard the saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” My guess is we may have even used it a time or two to deal with those who might complain more than others. Make sense? You with me?

As we start to find our way through the pandemic, I’m struck and continue to be frustrated by how regulators continue to silence the soft-spoken. 

I believe, currently, the most underestimated voice is not one in protest, is not one you will find on social media, but the whisper of those that have come before us. Many of these people may still be crying out. 

Guidelines have eased, but change needs to happen. We have to embrace life again and give everyone the chance to love and be loved, to hug and be hugged. This virus will hang on; we should not punish those who have a proud and accepting attitude any longer. 

In our field we continue to be punished even if just one person tests positive. I believe we are the only field where over one year later this regulation continues to dramatically impact the quality of life for those we serve. 

The time has come. Change is necessary. Trust us to do our jobs and let the silent screams be heard. 

As I write this month’s blog, I realize I’m preaching to the choir. I also know we all have a responsibility to continue to tell our story. Each month in 2021, I’m embedding a quote in the blog from one of our country’s change leaders. Acceptance in the face of what’s wrong wasn’t his style. He continues to inspire me today. 

Three words are in the blog from this very famous quote which consists of six words total. Once you figure it out, let me know at Julie.thorson@friendshiphaven.org.

Julie Thorson was the 2018 recipient of the LeadingAge Dr. Herbert Shore Outstanding Mentor of the Year award. Thorson is currently a coach for LeadingAge’s Larry Minnix Leadership Academy. Her “Living Leadership” blog was named the 2016 “Best New Department” Bronze Award winner by the American Society of Health Publication Editors. The president and CEO of Friendship Haven, a life plan community in Fort Dodge, IA, Thorson is a coach’s daughter at heart. A former part-time nursing home social worker, she is a licensed nursing home administrator and completed Leading Age’s Leadership Educator Program last summer.