On my list of clients, you’ll find addresses to some of the most exclusive areas in the city as well as addresses to working-class neighbourhoods. The income levels, just like the size of the houses, differ greatly. At first glance, it seems like the only thing they all have in common is me, their foot care nurse.
All of my clients have the same feet related concerns. Age and illness have made it impossible for them or their families/caregivers to look after their feet. If I showed pictures of their feet, no one would ever guess who has the most money and stuff.
And that’s my point.
We often make assumptions and comparisons based on a person’s address, bank account, the brand and amount of stuff he has. From where I sit, it really means nothing. Clients in the most prestigious area of the city have the same concerns as everyone else.
Illness and mortality are the great equalizers, I find. True, rich people can afford more and better health services, but everyone has the same worries and questions and their list of medications is remarkably similar. Getting sick will do that. Owning a lot or a little doesn’t matter when it comes to having multiple medical diagnoses. It strips you down to what’s real.
It goes to show that all that “stuff” is fleeting. You really can’t take it with you. The things we thought we needed and couldn’t live without are just that – things. True, we need money to live. We need things to make us comfortable. But we need to be able to let it go.
I’m really grateful for daily reminders to look beyond the size of a client’s house or its’ contents. I really like that my focus is on the individual. It simplifies things and allows me to get to know the person better when I don’t let myself become influenced by his possessions.
I’d like to be able to teach the same lesson to my kids. There’s so much pressure to accumulate things and make more and more money. I’d like for them to realize that it doesn’t last. The most important things in life really can’t be displayed on a mantle, worn on your back or counted in a bank statement.
In teaching this to my family, I have to start with myself. The attitude shift starts with me and spreads outward. It won’t be easy. In case I lose my motivation, I don’t have very far to go to get it back. I just have to look at the addresses in my files and hopefully, get myself back on track.