“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”~ Dalai Lama.
I grew up wearing uniforms. From the time I was in elementary school through to the time I became a Nursing Supervisor, I did not need to think what I would wear to school or work. It made life simple, but I often felt I came late into the world of fashion, of having any idea of what my ‘style’ was. My daughter on the other hand appeared to be born with a sense of style, of being able to put a look together. At the age of two she was picking out her own outfits. By the time she was a teenager she was policing me, checking my outfit before I went out. I once found a t-shirt that was perfect for her. It had a seal on the front which read: ‘In fashion we trust’.
I often wonder what it must be like to live in a time or a place where culture or religion chooses your clothes for you. I have always been more comfortable wearing pants than dresses. When I watch historical movies and see the cumbersome outfits that women used to wear, I wonder how I would have made it. I remember how happy I was when I started working in this country, this great democracy, and realized I could wear pants suits to work instead of dresses (and this was before the era of colorful, comfortable, wash and wear scrubs!). I always went for comfort over style.
When it comes to shoes, perhaps because of working in nursing shoes (aka sneakers) most of my working life, I can’t even try on those sexy, tall-heeled shoes that most women fill up their closets with. Pretty to look at, but I would not survive five minutes in them! I love when I admire a pair of particularly upstanding shoes, and the woman will always say, ‘and they’re so comfortable’! All the nurse in me can think is that your feet, your ankles, and your back will pay the price. Eventually.
When I was quite a bit younger and working as a Nursing Supervisor, my immediate boss expected us to dress in business attire. Not only did that challenge my underdeveloped wardrobe, it also made no sense. In that community hospital, the nursing supervisor wore many hats. When the Emergency Department was jumping, she (or he) had to help out by transporting patients. We even had to push stretchers up a ramp to the MRI scanner. We ran downstairs to fetch supplies for the nurses, and if you were impatient like I am, that meant taking the stairs rather than wait (forever) for the elevator. In heels. Once I was very impressed with myself, I had found a stylish pair of shoes (at Payless, never again) and at the end of a long and busy shift at home noticed that one of my hips was higher than the other. One heel was also slightly higher than the other, and I had thrown my back out of alignment. It was not long after that that I resigned and went to work in a hospital that allowed me to wear uniforms and sneakers once again.
When my kids were little I was an overprotective mother. They may not think so. But even though I worked (mostly night shift) they did not go off to stay with others overnight. Living away from my extended family, there were no aunts or grandparents to go and visit. I remember when my best friend (also my daughter’s godmother) asked when she would be able to take her on a trip with her, my immediate response was ‘when she’s sixteen!’ They actually did go on a trip to New York when she was about six, so I must have relaxed a little! One night I had arranged for a good friend to keep my four kids overnight (the youngest was less than a year old) so that we could go out. By ten pm I wanted to go and pick them up! I had to be persuaded that was insulting to my friend!
It has been harrowing to watch the news and see babies torn from their mothers’ arms, to hear lost kids crying for a familiar face. And all over a trumped up manipulated crisis. It is bad enough to watch children suffering as a byproduct of civil war, to know that around the globe refugees risk their lives to escape horrendous situations. But when it is in your back yard, and when it arose from the whim of political machinations, it is particularly shocking. And everybody knows that if those who are fleeing violence and poverty were white, they would never, could never, be subjected to such barbarity. How can we live in a country where such cruelty exists and is perpetrated on the least of these, and the youngest of these our brethren.
What is even worse is knowing that there are people in this country who are so ignorant, so self-serving, that they continue to support a man who has only one person’s interest at heart. But there are glimmers of hope. A week ago the Southern Baptist Convention moved to cut ties with the Republican party. The demographic has changed, younger members have elected a more diverse and inclusive leadership. A denomination which up until recently called for women (even women who had been abused) to ‘lovingly submit’ to their husbands hosted a #metoo debate at their recent convention. The times (we hope) they are a-changing.
We have to speak out against the erosion of values, of morals, the commission of blatant and overt acts of racism, sexism, violence and ugliness all done in the name of this country. Whether you like it or not, in the eyes of the world this is the new America. Here is a simple intervention – call your senator, your representative, and leave a message. Dial 202-224-3121, State your zip code, then you choose who you want to leave a message for. It is as simple as that. There is a “Keep families together act: SB3036” – it is up to us to put pressure on people who are acting as if they have no spine, no backbone, no conscience. We cannot let this happen in our name. We cannot wait for the next opportunity to vote them out, we need to speak out NOW.
Have a wonderful weekend, Family! And wear your heels, you hear! I am just jealous that I never learnt how to walk, run, and even dance, in heels!