Some time ago the knowledgeable ones in government decided to spend millions of dollars TO DEVELOP a community's capacity to look after its people. This brought thoughts of earlier days to mind. It is spring in Manitoba where, in spring, there is a window of only a few weeks when everything has to be done if one wants a harvest in the fall. I thought of the Wilsons, a young couple just starting out on their own farm. Tragedy!! Eric broke his right leg.
I do not know how the word was spread, but on the weekend neighbours came from miles around. Neighbours literally lived miles away in those days. The men came with their horses and implements. The women came with their pots, pans and skill to organize. The children came with their rakes, brooms and brushes. Sunday evening all went home, but soil was tilled, the seeds planted, the live stock had clean and tidy buildings, the fences were mended, there was food in the pantry and preserves in the cellar. Everything was done that could be done to ensure a harvest, and the government never knew it happened.
Each did their bit and it does not get much better than that.
Fast forward seventy years to a small city in the middle of an Island half a continent away. An elderly woman who had once promised to '…love and cherish until death…' was caring of her man who suffered from Alzheimer's. The stress of caregiving was becoming unbearable. But the pressure from family, friends and the medical profession to place her husband in an institution was driving her up the wall.
With the help and understanding of a few people who honoured and respected her dream she was able to keep her promise. Joe died in his own house, in this own bed, in the care of his own chosen partner. And again the government did not know it happened.
Each gave a little of themselves, and it can not get much better than that.
In my world, at least the metaphysical one, "Man is not an Island". Each is the ocean whose attitudes and actions lave the shores of all the islands.
Each is important.