Being Well

Everyone on the whole Earth, with the exception of babies that have just been born, have probably gotten sick at one time or another; nearly everyone on the planet has gotten a cold. Colds are frustrating, sometimes, and inconvenient at other times, but they can also be a time to rest and think, or at least rest and just be with yourself. But why do so many people tell you to get over it, or to work when you’re sick?

In the old days, say, a hundred or two-hundred years ago and even before that, it used to be that you either worked on a farm or you lived in the city. IF you lived on a farm, several things had to be done every day, and sometimes twice a day: milking/feeding/herding the cows, or getting eggs form the chickens and feeding them, working in the fields or the orchards. A big farm needed a lot of people to make it work well, so this meant that the farm family’s children working in the fields, working hard to plant things in the spring and then hurrying to get things done before the fall, when the weather turned too cold for things to grow. If you didn’t work, you didn’t eat: it was as simple as that.

This was also true in the cities, of course: if you didn’t work you could not afford food or a place to live, We have many laws now that keep younger children from being put to work in either the city or the country: some children had their health ruined from working too hard in the city mill, or in the family farm, and some of them had their lived cut short. 

But these days, you can actually have a cold, and most of you can take time off from work or school. At least there are medications you can take that make working easier. But the old feelings remain: if you are sick, you should keep working, and if you’re sick, you aren’t helping the family. Yet when you are exhausted, you can’t work very well. When you are sick, you can’t do your best. So it might be better to rest, since you can, and when you’re resting, think of those children who had to work all day, every day, or they wouldn’t be able to eat. 

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