We are fortunate when we have the chance to listen and learn from someone who possesses the strength of wisdom. A recent conversation with a woman taught me that wisdom is a scarce commodity in our society today. The wisdom possessed by this woman was not developed through formal education but through first hand life experiences.
The woman of wisdom expressed her concern to me about what is happening in society today and specifically her observation that America is “imploding” – referring to internal self-destruction. The woman of wisdom talked about the depression and the “acceptance” of children not finishing their high school education because they were needed to work on the farm or find work to help support the families. “Families” referred to not only to the immediate and extended families, but neighbors and people and individuals in the small rural communities they supported. The woman of wisdom explained how people would butcher farm animals and share the meat with others in the community. The depression was a difficult time, but people did not blame each other or their neighbors or their leaders. The people came together and supported each other.
The woman of wisdom married and bore eight children. It was a new era but not without hardships. World War II produced anxiety, a call to duty, shortages, and rationing. Again, people came together, supported each other to the extent that ration books and tokens were issued to each American family, dictating how much gasoline, tires, sugar, meat, silk, shoes, nylon and other items any one person could buy. The point of the woman of wisdom was rationing (sugar is an example) provided equal shares of a single commodity to ALL CONSUMERS. If another family had an issue or emergency, commodities were shared or given to them by other families.
The woman of wisdom expressed gratitude that out of the depression and the experiences of WW II, she felt blessed that social security became available for her generation, especially since her husband died at an early age. The woman of wisdom also expressed gratitude that she had Medicare and Medicaid in her ‘twilight’ years. The woman of wisdom expressed disappointment that the lessons of her generation appears to be lost in current discussions of helping people, and especially children, have access to “medical” insurance. The woman of wisdom said she was confused why people verbally attack each other on difference of opinions regarding “medical” insurance, and wanted to know why “these people” cannot work together for the good of the people, and for the good of each other .
The woman of wisdom passed away at the age of 92. I love you Mom.