Today I received a reminder of my departed mother. A bag of her knitting and crocheting had been mailed to me filled with what was her late night obsession. When she couldn’t sleep. She would sit for hours and knit/crochet.
My mother always seemed to fill an idle moment and found ways of ensuring that everyone’s moments were filled too. She was a workaholic who taught her children to be goal oreintated too.
I look at the changes over the generations from my forefathers to today’s youth. And work ethics have certainly changed a great deal. You only have to visit your local stores to see how young people enjoy their work opportunities. What we work for and why we work for it has also changed. Fame and celebrity seem to be far more important today than it was in 40s, 50s and 70s.
We have changed in many areas; some more quickly than others. Children living at home for longer. Entertainment plays a much larger part of life and luxury seems to be the constant pursuit of everyone in western society. (I can’t comment on areas and places I haven’t been to or lived in).
We have become far more tolerant about many things and social issues over the decades. Some surprising changes have taken place… And yet.
We still seem to have changed very little in the way we perceive and accept some disabilities and chronic illnesses; although our numbers have certainly risen on a global scale.
As stress, lifestyles, diseases and diet choices have changed all over the world, we have seen more and more illnesses risen. Heart disease. Obesity. Mental health issues etc. but our feelings and treatment of such topics have not kept up with the demands. Sadly. In fact policy and funding for health care and education has been declining consistently for decades and every new election and budget reveals how truly undervalued we truly are.
As I looked at the bag of Crocheted scarves and bed spreads, which would hardly be worth anything or of little value to the average person on the street, it has value to me because it was made by my mother. It was a piece of her and her life. Shouldn’t that mean it has limitless value? It might amount to approx $100 in wool, but limitless love and amusement.
Today we know what things are worth but not their true value.
For those of us who are sick, we struggle with this topic on a daily basis. What is our value and worth??
Does the world believe that all life matters? Do my countrymen? Does my family?
My biggest fear in society today is that people still believe that some lives are more important than others. It scares me that people will kill, torture, hurt, mock, adandon, forget, sacrifice and vote on the basis that someone values one life more than another and one group of people more than others.
If everyone spent some time being amongst the groups of people that most of society called ‘expendable’ then perhaps we would value them differently?
Today my bag of wool and knitted scraps may mean nothing more than time spent filling an idle moment, but I wouldn’t trade it for a yacht! It means a memory. A moment in time with a person I will never see again. An echo from a loved one long gone… And it is priceless.
So too are the broken bodies and chronically ill lives all over the world. We are the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives and husbands and we have a value which transcends the price of our Meds and any politicians social reforms.
I think back to when my grandmother became crippled with age, she was still my little granny, with a wry smile and a quirky love for tennis and cricket on the TV. She is my memories and our legacy.
In my time I have seen a change to so many social and political issues but, sadly, I have witnessed very little change to the way we value, cherish and include our chronically ill and disabled.
Perhaps it’s not what people look at when they look at our chronically ill and disabled brothers and sisters… But what they see!?!
Perhaps we need to help them to see our real value. Hopefully they will look with their hearts and their eyes.