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Safely Ensconced? Maybe It's Time to Break Loose

by Gini Cunningham

posted in News and Society

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I readily agree that there are times when it is pleasant, relaxing, and refreshing to be safely ensconced. It nice to go home, sit down and let worries wander into the air. It is enjoyable to take off on a vacation with no tethering to the busy world of work by cutting the electronic tethers. It is joyous, at times, to state, "Not my problem" and then walk off into a distant realm. But what happens when this safety and distance becomes the norm and everyone looks out for him/herself while ignoring the plight of others?
Currently there are many national and worldwide issues that should strike at our hearts and minds and motivate us to action. The immigrant crisis in Europe is one frightening scene, with hundreds of thousands of displaced persons seeking asylum, the chance to live life in peace. Although some may rant about ending all abortions regardless of the safety to the mother and the child, have they looked at the extenuating circumstances that might bring a mother to such a decision or the consequences of unwanted babies? People rage about the Affordable Health Care Act but they refuse to offer a better solution as they ignore those in need by denying medical services. Safely ensconced in individual bubbles, many decline to glance around in all directions before making a blanket statement, thinking of their own personal beliefs with disregard to the right of others to hold different beliefs.
What action can you take to make a difference in your community, county, and state? There must be something that is bugging you that requires your attention and energy. Finding that special drive moves you from safety, to be sure, as you are nudged from "ensconcement" into a place of movement and action. Change takes time and effort but with a supporting friend or group, you may be able to change current conditions into wonderful new opportunities. You just have to think, research, think some more, and then reach out and react.
Last evening we held a Town Hall meeting on driving and dementia. We drug the proverbial "elephant" out of the closet and into the limelight as we discussed other conditions that lead to impaired driving such as a stroke, how to stop dangerous drivers (demented or otherwise) from having a license renewed, and what to do to help these former drivers remain independent without the freedom of wheels. It was great to listen to panelists and then to hear from community members concerning what we have in place now and where we need and want to go next. For example, the hospital has advanced Telemedicine to alleviate long drives to medical services and is also working on paramedic, in-home health services. Local entities are seeking volunteers to act as drivers, conversation buddies, and errand runners to help those who are unable to complete tasks alone or who just need a friend to stave off loneliness and depression.
Local citizens discussed making our city age-friendly with bike paths and more civic performances and volunteer opportunities. The latter is a tremendous way to permit people to give to others while enriching their personal well-being. Safely ensconced folks are now moved to action - maybe just a tiny bit, perhaps only a baby step, but these are movements forward to improve quality of life. What calling is ringing in your ears to make a difference in our town?
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