Paper, plastic, and disposable all are words we are familiar with in our daily lives. The thing they have in common - they are throwaways. Today, we live in a Throwaway Society. Look around you, how many things can you count that will eventually end up in the garbage? I’m looking at several things, but a spiral notebook is the closest. In days gone by a slate was used for writing on, something people don’t use any longer. Honestly, I’m thankful for the paper.
Living In A Throwaway Society
Sadly, we have moved on from throwing away diapers and plates to throwing away tiny humans and the older generation, lives that matter.
We’ve been told tiny babies are an inconvenience and are not important and can be exterminated as if they were a mouse or an insect. These tiny lives are being destroyed and then sold like a bottle of aspirin so their parts can be used for research. Our government has had a hand in this by continuing to fund an organization and those of us who have not said a word against these ghastly acts are just as guilty.
I can’t help but think about the thousands of families who would lovingly accept one of these tiny lives if only they would have been given a chance to live. I wonder have we killed the one life that would have discovered the cure for cancer just because he or she was an inconvenience; a life that could possibly have saved millions of others - a tiny life that mattered.
We live in a society where lives are not valued anymore. Many believe a tiny life will keep them from achieving great things while others believe an older life will keep them from achieving great things.
The older generation who cared for us when we were growing up made sure we had food to eat; clothes to wear and a roof over our heads are now being put into homes and allowing others to care for them. I am NOT talking about situations where a loved one needs full-time medical care or you are physically not able to care for them. I’m talking about loved ones who are placed in a home because they have become an inconvenience to our daily lives.
Once we depended on someone to feed us, to clothe us, and to wipe our behind when needed. They did those things out of love and necessity. I’m sure there were times when it felt like a burden, but they did it anyway because they loved us.
When I was in college, I worked at a nursing home and recently I worked at our local long-term care facility for a few months. I met some wonderful men and women, the stories I heard were remarkable! I’ll never forget the light in the eyes of those who had family to visit, the smiles that seemed to last for hours; the love they felt showed on their faces. I’ll also not forget the eyes that were dim and the faces that didn’t bare a smile of happiness. Those were the precious people who caught my attention. They were the ones to whom I extended my friendship and love. They were the ones who I sat with a little longer just so they could tell me that story about their children, even though I had already heard it several times. Lives who may not have won the Noble Peace Prize, but worked and cared for families; lives that matter.
I’m not writing this to throw stones at anyone. Like I said earlier, this is not for those who can’t be the caregiver of an older loved one. (My mother in law was in a personal care home during the last few months of her life, it was a hard decision that had to be made.) This is written to those who are raising a family of their own and feeling the pressure of daily check-ins with an older loved one. As long as they are independent and care for themselves, don’t talk them out of their independence. Don’t make them feel as if they can’t live on their own if they still have the capabilities of doing so. Getting older comes with loss of memory and the inability to do something that one time came easily. Many elderly individuals enjoy their life and will not want the constant reminder they are no longer in their own home.
If you do need to place a family member in a home, don't forget about them. Don't leave them there until an emergency arises. Call them, visit them, and take them out to eat if possible. Whatever you do, let them know you have not put them there to forget about them.
Remember you will one day be in your loved one's shoes. There will come a day you will need to depend on someone for a little help. Getting older is a part of life, it is something we all have to look forward to. If we want our children to lovingly care for us, then we need to show them how to lovingly care for our older family members. The example we set for them is how they will respond to us.