How things used to be

October 21, 2011 § Leave a comment


Taken from Bowes and Bounds website

“We had everything. Everything you want was here.”

While doing some research for my Adopt-a-Grandma project, I came across this video. Three long-term residents of my local area tell us about how a particular street, Myddleton Road, used to be. A Jamaican lady came here in the 1960s and said that the road was the most beautiful sight, and that they were fully accepted into the community.

I am so touched at how she listed the bakery and fish shop and a few others, and said that that was all they wanted.

We cannot be satisfied with a butcher’s, bakery, fish shop and haberdashery any more. We are used to an extraordinary amount of variety. But that’s not the only reason – that lady saw what she had and appreciated it. It’s possible that she only sees it in hindsight but since she emigrated from another country, perhaps it was as if her dreams were coming true here – maybe that’s why she appreciated it.

How can we each see what we have and appreciate it? Does it take moving country to do that? Would it help if we travelled to places where they don’t have access to what we have – would we then understand our privileges? Would we, on individual levels, undergo a permanent change or would it take routine culture shocks, perhaps every 5 years, to remember to appreciate what we have and be satisfied with it?

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