Somehow, I don’t believe that’s the only thing the world needs. I’ve done some deep thinking, and I came up with what I want to call my “short” list.
1) Respect. Like love, respect is in short supply. Somewhere along the way, we’ve ceased to respect people who believe differently. Our disagreements may lay in politics, religion, economic status, country of origin, or an entire bevy of talents or intelligence. Throughout life, our DNA and experiences form us into an individual human being. Although most of us won’t admit it, everyone has prejudices about one thing or another. The key is to respect others and overcome unreasonable prejudices to the best of our abilities. Respect costs us nothing, but pays dividends for life.
2) Commonsense. The world seems to be in short supply of commonsense. People believe you have to be all “in” or all “out.” Every little thing is either all “right” or all “wrong.” People are either “good” or “bad.” Without commonsense, you will see the world as black and white. I know, some of you will say, rather than black and white, we are talking shades of gray. I’ve probably said that myself, but I’ve changed my mind. When you make decisions by rote, rather than reasoning, you fail to see the living color that surrounds you. By not thinking for yourself, you will miss the wondrous rainbow of life.
3) Unconditional Love. When it comes to love, we want to receive as much as we give. Dementia will strip away those expectations. Jim had aphasia and seldom spoke, but sometimes when I told him I loved him, he would say, “I love you too.” More often, love was a tender look in his eyes or the way he raised his eyebrows when he looked at me. In my journal I remarked one time that he said “I love you” like he really meant it. My love for Jim was founded in who he was before dementia, but I loved him “as is” throughout the disease.
So in addition to “love, sweet, love,” the world needs more respect, commonsense, and individuals with dementia need unconditional love. I can’t change the world and wouldn’t if I could. What’s right for me may be wrong for you. Let’s face it, if we all thought alike or acted alike, the world would be a mighty boring place. I’ll be me, and you be you.
Copyright © August 2020 by L.S. Fisher