Writing yesterday I alluded to the fact that being in a residence for independent seniors brings to the front of our view that we are at risk to be ignored by everyone else. Now by saying that I don’t mean that our families just walk away and leave us. Mostly that is not the case. But the reality is that we are deemed “less than.” Less brains, less physical ability and less important. We are the ignored minority.
I love the poems by Ogden Nash and this idea brought to mind a poem that brings out this point very clearly.
People expect old men to die, They do not really mourn old men. Old men are different. People look At them with eyes that wonder when… People watch with unshocked eyes; But the old men know when an old man dies.
This is so very true.. and yet the collection of wisdom, knowledge and ideas here is amazing. We are blessed with so many who have designed things now used by everyone, were professors in just about every field of endeavor. written books both fiction and non-fiction. I could go on and on. We are still alive, thinking, giving, sharing and loving.
In a more alert world we would be considered the “institutional memory” that is so important. It helps to keep us from making the same mistakes over and over.
We are here! We are useful! We are wise! Ignore us and you will be the ones who are “less than”
There is one thing about growing older that is frustrating. We won’t live to help our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren find hope when we self destruct. It is so hard not to worry about the polarization our country is experiencing. How do we get to the point where those with opposing opinions can talk without becoming angry and abusive.
What are we to do? I can remember when our representatives actually listened to each other and considered what was presented to them.
Currently we have states who have banned any abortion even when the mother has an ectopic pregnancy which will kill her. Oh well what, does the life of the mother matter.
Then there are states which allow killing of an infant who is full term and call it an abortion.
Has the whole world gone crazy?
(I know this sounds extreme but I have actually read the laws in the two states above. I have deliberately left out the names.)
I recently read a book called “Lakota Woman” by Mary Crow Dog. This was an eye opener. Canada showed up in the news this year for abuses done to native children in their past. They have even instituted a new day of remembrance called National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day is to honor and mourn those affected by the treatment of indigenous peoples.
In the US there has never been any major acknowledgement of the many atrocities visited on our own native population. I was unaware of many of the things done and the book made me angry that we have never done anything to set this right.
We were invaders in their territory and greedily grabbed their land and moved them onto reservations that are barely able to support life. We took their children and subjected them to the same kind of abuses that showed up recently in Canada.
We have spent years recognizing the wrongs done to those who were brought here in slavery but have done nothing about our “First Nations” population. We need to learn and hear more of the abuses focused on these people. We need to address the wrongs that have resulted in them being considered “lesser” citizens and change our image of their culture and history.
The stories of these abuses need to be bannered in our news service, taught in schools and our past evils brought to light. There are holidays for others in this country. We need to do the same for “First Nations.”
Today I was talking with my daughter and she mentioned a term that is used in business a lot to describe what competitors do. The term is FUD an acronym for Fear, Uncertainty , and Doubt. I realized how true that phrase is and how often it is used
It is certainly the way of life for the press. If they can spread FUD on a subject then they will get everyone’s attention. In today’s world it may be the only thing we hear both from the news and from politicians running for office. I don’t think that I have heard one positive ad for anyone….have you?
The Black Live Matter issue uses FUD also. In fact some proponents of that movement use it physically with violence. If enough people are afraid maybe it will work.
Today I was watching a British crime drama called Endeavour. Something was said that immediately caught my attention and I was quick to write it down and add it to my quote book. It does relate somewhat to all of this.
“Cruelty is like cancer. It starts with one cell and grows until the whole body is riddled with it.”
The cancer is growing egged on by FUD. What are we learning today?
Violence is good? Fear is good? Hatred toward others is good?
Compassion, love, kindness are bad? Acceptance, understanding and respect toward others is OK for some and not others?
It reminds me of a quote from Benjamin Franklin. “All men are created equal but some are more equal than others.”
I am almost struck dumb by hearing about another incident with a black man. The first one was in a place I have been many times and had no idea what was under the surface. We suffer from blindness that must go away. Why is the hatred so strong? Have we not changed at all? I grew up with a father who lived out that everyone was created equal. He never tolerated looking down on anyone. He was much loved by all who knew him.
The daughter of one of my best friends (the friend sadly is no longer with us) is married to a Lakota Sioux. I have seen through her eyes and that of her family the same kind of selective justice that their people have suffered. It continues.
When will we being to see people as human beings….no different than us. Is it going to take DNA testing everyone to prove that in today’s world odds are we all have DNA in common?The world has become very small. Is it going to take invasion by aliens to make us see our commonality instead of our differences?
Surely this virus has made us see it is no respecter of persons. Everyone race, creed or color is at risk. Can we not move past the hatred? I grieve for those hurt recently and those hurt in the past. Not just here in our nation but in the whole world. We can’t seem to learn.
Today I am sad. Sad that so many people are so frightened that they can think only of themselves. Fear can make you do terrible things. Rushing into the stores and taking all the things off the shelves that others need is a perfect example. That kind of thinking frightens me more than the virus.I hope that they begin to realize the selfishness of their thinking.
Each of us will need to tamp down our fear and help where we can. As a nurse, I worked for years where I was exposed to illnesses. I was stuck with a needle from a baby who was being tested for Hepatitis. I have cared for AIDS patients when there were no medicines and no cure. Good, really, good hand-washing and other needed steps helped me and others remain disease free.
There is a real threat but if we take the proper precautions we will lessen the risk. That doesn’t include hoarding all the toilet paper (why?) and hand sanitizer. It includes being a responsible and caring person.
My husband is scheduled in April for the implantation of a device to prevent clots. This started me thinking about such devices and prescription drugs.
The FDA regulates drugs and devices used in the US. In general this is a good thing but there are some holes in the system.
If a device is very similar to another device it can be approved without as much testing as the original. This can be used by companies to slide in products that have not had the extensive testing required by the original. For example, there is not just one heart valve replacement on the market and they may not all be considered equal.
There are similar issues with drugs although the problem can present in a different way. Has anyone wondered why the company that raised Insulin prices astronomically was able to do that? A small change in the medication made it able to considered a different drug and was therefore allowed a different patent allowing the price gouging. Insulin was originally given away by its creator in order to help mankind. Look what has happened now.
We have so many problems with our medical system and these are ones not always at the forefront. If only we could all care about the patient and not all the outliers how wonderful the system could be.
I often think of Robert Frost’s poem about building a wall. He is thinking about what happens when we do this. We can wall things out and sometimes we have to do that to survive. Many victims of abuse can only manage by walling the abuse out. Some have even developed different personalities to not be present themselves. This is the extreme example.
However, we do need to be careful about walling those around us out. Usually what we need for healing begins outside of ourselves. We need others whether in the form of therapist or loving friends/family. We have to be careful not to wall out the help we need. If we are fragile it is so easy to stay inside our protective shield but this is only a temporary solution.
Try and find those who can help to pull you out from behind the wall and eventually tear it down altogether. In that place is healing.
Today our Tuesday knit/crochet/whatever group decided to knit blankets for the Humane Society. We all love animals and they need all the help they can get. We feel that we get so much joy from knitting together that we can share that joy elsewhere.
I spoke to the humane society and they are thrilled that we will do that. It is one way to pay it forward. I can’t believe the way some people treat animals.
Of course I also can’t believe the way children/adults are treated also. I guess my comprehension of how someone must think to abuse anything/anyone is something out of my understanding. I don’t even like to step on a bug and when I can I will put them outside. Where we are we get small lizards in the house and I have been known to chase all over to catch them and get them outdoors where they can thrive. It hurts my heart (actually) to think of the abuse some people/animals suffer.