Who Makes the Rules?

Today at the doctor's office I witnessed two frantic women at the desk. Both were experiencing issues with appointments and/or insurance. They were both exasperated and near tears. I wanted to help them, but I stood back and watched. I empathized with them as I'd been there before when I had a house of small children, little time, less money, and medical needs. The biggest obstacle for me during those years was time and child care, enough time and child care to make appointments, go the appointments, and follow up.

Later as I spoke to a nurse she remarked about how lucky I was to have the time off in the summer. I agreed and responded, "Everyone should have more time off in the summer, who makes the rules anyways?"

Also, as I spoke with the doctor we spoke about being 50+, and the attitudes that accompany that, both our own and the world around us. We concurred that the new world hasn't made the kind of changes that should be made to better care for one another, and we also acknowledged the aptitude, potential, and skill that 50+ individuals have in our world. Rather than getting close to retirement, 50+ is often the midway point today for many--a time with less at-home needs and responsibilities and greater experience and will to do a good job, a job that matters.

With all these random events in the day, it makes me think about the future with the following questions.

First, who makes the rules for the lives we lead?  Why do people have to work so much today?  Why can't we shift to the equivalent of three or four day work weeks as the norm, six weeks summer vacation or vacation extended throughout the year, and greater numbers of people working in service to one another?

Why is there a shortage of doctors, school personnel, and environmental agents? Why can't we extend the numbers in those fields so there are more professionals to take care of one another with depth and breadth? That would create more care and less stress.

Who is helping working parents who are stretched in so many ways to care for young children and make a living too? Perhaps we have to re-look at expectations with regard to professional work. What if the expectation was you get your first leg of education from 0-25, then you raise a family w/less work expectations as an apprentice and greater parenting expectations 25-45, and then you embark on your professional career 45-70, and after that you work as a mentor, and advisor 70-80, and then at 80-100 you get a chance to relax a bit.

Now I know it's crazy to think those numbers would really match up perfectly, but imagine the difference in our world if we really did make more time for people to care for one another, recreate, take care of young families, and extend their professional careers with depth at a later age.

Who makes the rules in this world? What rules do you support with your money, votes, time, and energy? How can we advocate for a more peaceful, humanistic schedule in life--a schedule that helps us to be the best that we can be?

I'm curious and interested in this conversation.

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