Of course, NURTURING is as important to our species as nature. We need people, relationships, and human face to face connection to feel our humanity and share our experiences, and children who do not receive touch or human contact suffer. Interesting how often we overlook this necessity, and how marketing tries to convince us that if we change our image or buy shiny things we will be happier. Alas, no shiny object can take the place of deep love.
When I was in college I had a newspaper clipping on my fridge, it read something to the effect of:
“In 2001, if a mother were paid for the cooking, cleaning, laundry, chauffeuring, counseling, shopping, and childcare activities she supplies for the family, she would be pulling in $250,811 annually.”
I had posted it up primarily as a testament to how awesome women are, but as I have grown and see the value of what I will pay for (someone please come clean my house) and what the women who raise children do on a daily basis, this statistic has become very real to me.
My recent trip to Cuba, where the economy has a very different structure, offered me more insights and reflections about how we value people, services and roles economically. Of course, teachers should earn more and America needs to take a serious look at income equality in the workforce. And shouldn’t women be somehow compensated for all the work and love they pour into their children’s lives?
Lately I’ve noticed how many women simply overlook the talent and wisdom they carry, as if nurturing is not noteworthy. Let me tell you right now, without nurturing NONE OF US WOULD BE HERE. Children who are not touched as babies are more likely to physically atrophy and become ill – nurturing is POWERFUL and whoever nurtured you helped keep you alive and helped you thrive. More central than tasty snacks or fancy beverages, this force is as necessary as the natural elements. We need love.
Of course, just because it’s valuable doesn’t mean we should sell it. Lord knows putting money into the mix can bring out compromised behaviors and misguided intentions. However, our economic model leaves a lot to be desired in that we can subconsciously and collectively begin to devalue the things that do not turn a profit. The structure of our economic systems is clearly imbalanced with a strong patriarchal lean. This arrangement enables those who work and provide for their families the opportunity to feel empowered and worthy in the world while in-home caregivers are subject to feeling dependent, less valued and under-appreciated.
Ladies (and nurturing fellas), value yourselves. Imagine someone is giving you 100 spiritual dollars for every hug, diaper change, feeding, and care-taking role you find yourself active in. I wholeheartedly believe that what you invest will pay off more than money ever could, and that your worth is known at a level far more important than money or fame. You make the world go around.
Now I want to hear from you – who nurtured you? What nurtures you now? Where do you offer love in the world and do you feel its value? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Sending you lots of nurturing love today,