Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Change The World

How often do we feel as though the world steamrolls along, while we grab on for dear life? We at times measure success as a day where we don't end up squashed beneath the big roller.  As a special needs parent, I could barely control the functions of my own home, much less worry about anything going on with the outside world.  I look back now and I wish I had known that it didn't have to be that way.  

As I write these blogs I have noticed that spellcheck would sometimes disagree with my use of the word "caregiving".  I get that annoying red line below the word.  I know caregiving is a word, because we have done it!  In fact, caregiving to me is the act of providing very specific and complex care for someone else.  How could I be using it improperly?  

I sent an e-mail to the good folks at Mirriam-Webster Dictionary and challenged the lack of definition of the word.  After all, we cannot address things like caregiver fatigue unless we properly see caregiving for what it is.  Caregiving is an activity that involves a high degree of love and dedication to provide physical, mental, and emotional support for another person.  I feel it is almost a slight for this word to go so minimally undefined.

After a few e-mail exchanges I received this reply:

Hi Tom,

For the next dictionary update later this year, I will be adding some quotations to the entry from our files that I hope will make the entry more meaningful.  

I do plan to send them some suggestions on what I believe the definition of caregiving should be.  Whether they want my suggestions remains to be seen.

I learned something important through this experience.  There is nothing in this world that cannot be changed, even by a single person writing a single e-mail.  We should challenge the way we look at everything.  If I can change the dictionary...what else can be changed? The truth is, there is no limit to what a person can do.  

If we all find one way to change the world, big or small, and make it better, we can turn things around for ourselves, our children, and our children's children.

Be well and God bless.   Tom

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