ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Sunday: September 27, 2020

Reference: Matthew 21:28-32

Matthew 21:28-30 “But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work on the farm today.’ ‘I won’t,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father told the youngest, ‘You go!’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t.

I find the actions of the father in today’s Gospel quite interesting but have a number of questions about the sequence of his actions:

  • Had the first son said Yes, would he have gone to the second?
  • Had the second son said No, would he have outsourced the task?
  • Did he require only one son committed to working in the vineyard or did he want both of them?

Within the clinical setting, in the event of a ‘code blue’ such as a cardiac or respiratory arrest, in addition to a proactive response; the lead responder always delegates responsibilities to other members of the team. However, one thing has to established, alongside each assigned responsibility, appropriate acknowledgement has to be returned. As though to say, ‘team member X’ has heard the instruction and is carrying it out. A situation along the lines of ‘I thought ‘A’ was doing it’ increases the odds of patient coming to harm.

There is something about acknowledging a task: while it might appear subtle, when a task is acknowledged, it is followed by a mental handover of the responsibility. This becomes comparable, in a sense, to ‘the work will be done then because ‘X’ has taken over’. So in the end when it isn’t done, there is a feeling of disappointment which although may not be openly expressed, is present.

I asked some opening questions earlier, and it becomes clear that the second son’s acknowledgement and commitment to go to work put his father at ease. That, however, was a false sense of security because in the end, this son did not carry out what they had committed to. Forgetting to do something is one thing, but not doing something you committed is a whole different ball game. It has the potential to set plans already in motion back and delay implementation of others.

So my dear, when you make a commitment, strive to honour it because it matters.

#sly

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