Attitudes and understanding

Today I went to my local shop to collect a few items I needed. I spent some time outside the shop talking to the young woman who sells the Big Issue. There are often some very important articles in it and this week in particular there were some articles which raised a lot of discussion. I have noticed that the regulars know her name and she knows their names too. But as we chatted she told me about one woman who comes past every week, takes a photo of her and tells her she is begging and should get a job. There is obviously a lack of understanding about those who sell the Big Issue. I had hoped that this type of attitude was long gone but it is still here obviously.

I don’t often talk about my early years or being a parent as there were some very painful times. I remember well trying to feed and clothe my very young children after a nasty divorce. Divorce then was difficult. You had to prove or/and have witnesses before any judge considered you could have a divorce. This was over 50 years ago! Times have changed but I remember having a boss who thought I should not be working because of the children.

So I have a great deal of sympathy for those who are struggling to live a decent life and who are short of money and food and clothing. I was always told later during some training as a counsellor that you could only really understand how people feel when you have been in the same position. This is very true and I hope that the woman who keeps being nasty to the young Big Issue seller never finds herself in such a situation.

We think that things have changed over the years and attitudes to others are much better, but that is far from the truth. You only have to read the news to hear about racism, misogyny and ageism to know that things have not changed at all for the better.

Being thankful

The last couple of weeks have been dire and I have been trying to find something to be thankful for. I am rarely ill with the ‘bugs’ that go around so I was absolutely shocked when I got one of these nasty ones. I have always looked after my immune system so it seemed even more shocking. I cannot remember ever being this ill in all my life.

What kept me going was the birds using my feeders. I managed to get outside every couple of days to fill the feeders and I can see them through my kitchen window. And then when the sun appeared . rather infrequently though, that also helped. I am now much better but not yet 100%. But I am still here so I am thankful for that. My son did the shopping and got me out a couple of times in the fresh air for which I am also thankful.

I am now in the third week and am much more able to do things so I have spent some time working on new items for my web site. ( as some of the pages were well out of date. I started with my family history page and have been working more on this. Some of the stories in my family history are quite sad but when I look at how many people are living now and how they lived then, there does not seem to be a lot of difference in the help given to those less fortunate. I am thankful for what I have and thankful that I have enough to have a reasonable life. I am not rich but I do have enough to pay my bills, eat and have clothes. There are many less fortunate and I would like to be in a position to help where I can.

I am looking forward to being able to get out more soon and enjoy the countryside again.