A bowl of cereal, a new caregiver and a stack of notebooks filled with bills and correspondence – what did these things have in common? They were all in the right place at the wrong time. . Too early in the day to have gathered my defenses, I sat wide-eyed and speechless as a bowl filled with milk and cereal, slipped out of my new assistant’s hand only to land upside down on an ordered stack of paperwork and notebooks. It was a moment when my patience and desire to be in control were challenged beyond words.
I spend a lot of energy creating ‘systems’ that keep the details of my daily life, both items and routines, accessible to me and the people who assist me. When someone has worked with me for a while these systems become familiar, reducing the amount of time necessary to give directions or search for things. It all appears logical and routine until a new person is added to the team.
Certainly the one most challenged is the new assistant. Already on the spot, it is easy to see the anxiety rise as new tasks are introduced.
At least that what I must say to myself. So many details in life are not in my control. If I focused on this fact for too long a wave named ‘overwhelmed’ could quickly wash over me. So I sit in my beautiful home taking deeper breathes to settle my nerves as I help to reassure my assistant and clean up the breakfast spill – one.simple.direction.at.a.time.
‘I learn whatever state I’m in, therein to be content.’ What an amazing woman, Helen Keller. Her wisdom is my encouragement and for this I give thanks.
Welfare- a single word that carries so much meaning. Often understood to reflect a benevolent connection with all people – those in need and those in abundance, finding common ground. For decades used in this country to describe structures set in place to assist those who are poor and those with unique needs so they might have the basics for living; food, shelter, medial care and seek meaningful, productive lives. Of recent ‘welfare‘ has become a word filled with negative connotations. Used to posture opinion as our country prepares for a presidential election.
We risk so much when we turn our backs on one another. If we are not awake, society’s focus on the individual could wash our collective minds and hearts of the importance to care for one another. How tragic and dangerous.
Helen Keller knew so well the importance of interdependence. Her independence was directly impacted by her community’s support and encouragement. Her life was an example of welfare’s good and brought encouragement for generations to come. The well-being of one person ripples beyond to all people.
Welfare – we must hold this word carefully before us as we help to shape the future of our country and our lives. To allow its definition to be re-tooled for purposes of greed and prejudice is not an option.
Carry this word to your time of quiet, in prayer and meditation. May its seed take root and give us the needed strength to live by example. The welfare of all depends on each of us. Not as individuals but as a community shaped by our actions – actions that have ultimate effect on all.
Welfare – a word of compassion and empowerment. May we use it carefully and with sincerity.
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