Being thankful

The last few weeks seem to be full of people complaining about what they want to do and can’t do, what they want and can’t have and so on. We have so much to be thankful for. As many of you know I love social history research and have spent some months this year looking at orphans and disabled people living in orphanages and the workhouse. My grandmother who was born in 1890 was terrified of having to go in the workhouse even though they were no longer in existence in the 1950s. Life in the workhouse was hard. If you were disabled in any way and your family could not look after you then you went into the workhouse. Women who had illegitimate babies often ended up in the workhouse and were often classed as feeble minded. There was no Social Security, no Housing Benefit and no NHS. Houses did not have running water either for a long time and many families shared some form of toilet in a yard. Life was totally different then and has changed greatly and for the better in many cases although we still have homeless people.

So what can we be thankful for? We are alive of course and most of us have everything that we actually need to live a reasonable life but there are still many who live in poverty and the current situation has brought this to our notice. If we have plenty then we can share with others, toys for children, food for families and so on. But in this century no one should be without a roof over their head or without enough food and clothing. Many of us are in a position where we can do something to help but it needs changes to the law for some things to get better. Volunteers do wonderful work but that work should not be necessary.

So be thankful for what you have and offer help to others less fortunate and find ways to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you or your family or those that you know. When employment is in short supply and money too then think how you can help to make life easier for others. Would you want to be in a position where you had no food or clothes and had to camp outside under a blanket in the cold and snow?

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