Today’s post is I think going to be a bit more political than I usually write but the subject has been very much on my mind recently. It is the issue of patching things up, be in our health system or even our roads. I do believe it is very much a modern first world problem. Whether it is instant gratification or undercutting the budget for a quick fix, our whole socio-economic seems to be affected.
A moment of WhimsyI, like many other people, have recently finished watching series seven of Call the Midwife which is one of many favourite period dramas commissioned by the television companies. Although life was hard for people, one thing that does stand out to me is that there was a desire to improve people’s quality of life. The Doctor has a genuine holistic interest in the patients seen. Don’t get me wrong I am not trying to say Doctors don’t care anymore they merely can’t spend the time to understand their patients lives entirely. We live in a world now with a Data Protection Law which is in theory there to protect us. Although reading some of the comments about Doctor-Patient confidentiality on this page of Your Privacy website it seems like there are a lot of grey areas and misunderstandings of that law. How many stories have I seen play out in various historical fictional situations, where parents have been boiling mad with their teenage offspring for sexual behaviours they have not approved. In the end, though they have calmed down and supported their family as needed (usually – I don’t live in fairyland). Now we live in a world where young people can go on the pill without parents knowledge and entirely miss out on receiving the emotional support of everything this means. It is not my place to pass judgement on this as either a bad or good thing, every person and every family is different. But I do raise the questions: Why do period dramas remain so popular? Do we maybe look back with fondness to a time where not just family members knew each others business, but the community did too? Has all our self-sufficiency bred some indifference?
The Financial IssuesLet’s face it we live in an age of instant gratification; many (not all) individuals purchase items they want immediately on credit rather than saving up for it. I completely hold my hands up and say I have been guilty of that for many years of my life. Thankfully I do not do that anymore unless you include Interest-Free Flexi Pay at Create and Craft and it doesn’t seem right counting that because you are starting paying now and just spreading the cost… I’ll remain on the fence as it is for craft stash ?. This instant gratification all too often rolls over into healthcare also, why take the time to thoroughly investigate the cause of a problem if a prescription for a pill can fix it. Our health systems are stretched to the limit because countless people are living with conditions that mean they have to keep going back to the Dr for a prescription when I’m sure at least some of these conditions could be fixed more permanently if the NHS had the time, staff and money to do so. I’m afraid that I can’t remember where but I did read that in the USA there is more money spent on researching male patterned baldness than Fibromyalgia – let’s take a second to reflect on that, shall we? If only I could pop on a wig and resume living my life as I did before… this post may give you a bit of a reality check about life with Fibromyalgia.
Our RoadsAs I mentioned earlier, our Health System is not the only thing that seems to suffer from this sense of instant gratification and quick fixes. One of the roads around the corner from us is in a terrible state, it has been patched up with tarmac on various occasions, but this never lasts long. On the other hand, the road I live on is a bus route, and this was resurfaced entirely either last year or the one before, and it is in excellent condition still. Yes, it took more time, and I’m sure it cost more but has needed no further attention. I know if I were still out and about, I would put up with a well signposted bumpy road for a few more months then have it entirely redone than the regular inconvenience of pothole filling missions.Reading this recent article where they discuss the state of the roads let’s hope this investment goes on complete solutions rather than sticking plasters all over the place. I spoke too soon, this article that talks about entirely different amounts of money, states that the most significant part of the budget is to build newer roads rather than to repair the existing ones. I’m glad I don’t go out very often anymore!
Health and HappinessI am currently reading The Little Book of Hygge that I got for Christmas, I’m sure you are aware of it being a Times Top Ten Bestseller but I recently came across the Little Book of Ikigai, The Secret Japanese Way of Living a Happy and Long Life, which I have duly added to my to-read list. This really got me thinking:
Ken Mogi identifies five key pillars to ikigai: Pillar 1: Starting small Pillar 2: Releasing yourself Pillar 3: Harmony and sustainability Pillar 4: The joy of little things Pillar 5: Being in the here and now
Looking at these Pillars of Life that Japanese live by it seems that some of the issues we are now facing are not so much first world problems as Western Problems. I was interested to find out a little bit more about life in Japan, and that led me to YouTube where I watched this video about school dinners. A few spoilers, but I thought the masks on all the children seemed excessive. But with that exception, I was genuinely impressed with what I saw (and I have trained and worked as a Primary Teacher). There was an emphasis on a healthy diet, and everyone brushed their teeth after eating. Not to mention ensuring those who were serving the food didn’t have stomach bugs etc. With health being taken this seriously as standard it is not difficult to see why women in Japan have the most extended lifespan in the world as reported in 2015 with British Women coming in at 27th.
Creating our own Health SystemGiven all that has been said, it is not much of a surprise that so many people are turning away from traditional medicine and looking for alternatives. Within the blogging community, there is a lot of emphases on natural remedies, both in the sense of treatments like Essential Oils but also remedies like avoiding stress and pacing yourself. As well as trying to find our own cures, alongside taking the various medications that doctors prescribe. Many people living with Chronic Health conditions like Fibromyalgia end up trying to take their personal finances into their own hands. Possibly by blogging, selling craft items or any other method possible. As well as the problem of living with a chronic health condition in an already overstretched health system, the socio-economic climate of first world western society doesn’t operate in a way that can cope with the unpredictability and pace of our bodies. I can’t help wondering if the Goods didn’t have the right idea all along! The Good Life (or Good Neighbours for my US friends).
I would love to hear your thoughts about this post because it is a departure from my normal blogging style. Leave a comment if you agree with my thoughts.
On a much lighter note, I will be sharing Michael’s birthday card with you in Monday’s Crafty post and then on Wednesday, we are getting back to normal with the Midweek minimise decluttering and organising series.