Floods And Flooding

It’s not at all unusual to take a look at the day’s news and find a report that a terrible flood has happened somewhere in the world.  There’s nothing "new" about floods.  Many have been written into history for some reason or the other — the number of people who died, the cost estimate in money and even the destruction of something rare.  There’s also not much new about meager attempts at flood control.  People presumably have good reason for living in areas that are subject to floods, like, perhaps, greater access to food.  If the nearest hill is a goodly distance from needed water, moral justification for living there exists, but sometimes one might wonder. 

A hundred years ago this week the hometown got badly flooded.  Reading about it suggests that the only real history it made was local history.  That it did do, to the point where life in the area was radically changed by resulting measures taken, like the building of dams along the river in several places to contain some of the water of heavy rains.  Well, it’s been a hundred years and people thought to commemorate, but what can be done?  The dams are built, the dead were mourned and there was rebuilding.  A couple of people a hundred years old were in it as babies, but small children are not ones to remember events for tales of personal experiences later. 

Questions will remain.  Why did people risk the river?  Much high ground is really not that far away.  Did it make a difference to much beyond the immediate area?  Yes, flood control dams are more prevalent, but few know or understand the value.  Most likely that flood like others has not deterred anyone from setting up some kind of an existence on a flood plain.  Rather, the results probably encouraged more of it.  So, there’s still flooding with people caught in it, then news of it, then aid to rush in to help save what can be saved, then commemorating what was lost because it should be remembered somehow.   It seems like something should be done about all of that. 

There’s an elusiveness about some things. 


The Art Of Visiting The Sick

Being sick can come at any age.  In some cases there’s no getting better, but the idea is to do so if possible.  And, there are two angles that determine any visiting:  one is to be helpful in the getting better idea, the other might be called "social reassurance."  Some people are not able to do anything that is of any material help, but being around lets the sick one know he/she has not been abandoned.  Now, sometimes such as if the sick one is an infant, "social reassurance" doesn’t fit into the picture except for those taking care of things.  And, at times such as if the sick one is "terminal," there isn’t a lot in the way of material help that most people can do.  Now, if that’s all clear…. 

A "retirement community," as has been frequently mentioned herein, is more or less an old folks’ home (or even old folks’ town).  Technically "old" means not young or new.  Something old can be in good working order, but the odds are anyone in an old folks’ home is no longer in good working order.  Many folks in the general population also are not in good working order, but they frequently are not grouped with a bunch of others not in good working order.  The point is, in certain places (such as in hospitals as well as retirement communities), the people there are subject for visits that are above or beyond social contact.  However, there may be a few business services, too. 

Visiting the sick be it for business purposes (e.g., doctors and nurses) or moral ideals (e.g., ministers and church folks told it’s a good thing to do) takes more than just stopping by to chat.  To an extent doing so is an art.  It takes things like being able to comprehend the situation the individual is in with a minimum of observation and operating from that viewpoint, as well as being there with expectations of putting forth some effort for which there’s no return.  The trickiest part of the deal is probably operating from a viewpoint present.  It may not be what a visitor expects or assumes to be right.  And, all this is presently high in mind due to some lousy medical service. 

Things often need to be said in a timely fashion.  

Today There’s A Wealth Of Information Around

There are many media efforts of this type "out there."  Years ago someone estimated sixty million "offerings."  Today it could easily be two hundred million.  They cover as many topics as there are people creating them.  This particular system presents to participants interesting "samples" of what people are creating using the system, not an overwhelming amount but a sort of "if you want to see something, just look at these" idea.  There’s a new bunch to view every few days.  the expertise is usually superb.  That doesn’t mean that all such things are great.  It just means that many "little people" who would otherwise not be noticed are doing some exceptional work. 

Looking through the samples is a very humbling experience.  Personally speaking, there’s no serious inclination to keep checking on some featured person’s barbeque recipes or European history studies; but, very often what is presented is special enough to grab attention for a time and is presented with work in it that is beyond the understanding here.   It’s easy to think one knows things (and knows about things), especially if one is, say, "older than average" and maybe has actually done a few things.  That doesn’t last too long if one sees something done without a big name that is obviously better, if one is realistic and also at least personally honest. 

All of the featured samples are better and interesting.  And, there’s no other place known (there may be unknown places) where there’s such a thing offered.  It’s one of the interesting things buried in today’s everyday life.  In days long past the standard procedure for those with the power to present material was to highlight or spotlight one or two things.  A teacher had so many minutes and spoke of the most important historic event, most important book or most important whatever (in someone’s opinion) without really saying that’s not all there is.  The same goes for media.  And, the average person really had no idea of the wealth of life beyond it which does exist. 

Here and now can be good. 

New Development In The Old Folks’ Home

Life in some old folks’ homes is in for dramatic changes.  It seems government funding has been found to provide social service workers of sorts (the one in the place underfoot is called an “activities coordinator”) to help people find services (such as nursing services) that they might need.  If the totally unexpected experiences of this past week are any indication, it may be disastrous for some.  It will take at least a week to unravel what the woman raveled up.  It’s already taken the better part of a day and a half, and that hasn’t had much impact on sorting it out yet.  Nor is there likely to be anything in less than a week.  It seems she is not the epitome of truthful action. 

In retrospect, “the folks” (they took care of themselves, sought to help others and were not in a position in their youth to accumulate the fancy-dan diplomas common today) would have been miserable in this modern, old folks “retirement” living.   That leads to the conclusion that others are, too.  Just the simple matter of food was a do-it-yourself project.  Things like meals for seniors (or for that matter, continuous reliance on restaurants) was not their idea of “proper” living, even though it is cheaper to buy things already done.  That’s not to say no known friends or relatives would have related to some extent.  It simply means the belief was in true independent living. 

Perhaps the worst part is the “poor old soul” notion that can commonly be found.  Respect is a funny thing in that it’s readily given to someone (or something) that is more powerful or otherwise superior to an individual while it’s hard come by when due those who are easily overcome or are somehow lesser.  Yet, it is precisely there where respect should be offered according to various moral systems, psychological directives and common courtesy.  So the hair isn’t combed and the shoes aren’t the latest fashion, so what?  If it’s a living being that isn’t harming anyone or anything, it’s a treasure of this life that somehow enriches all that is around it. 

It’s a different world today.