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‘The last shall be first and the first shall be last’ (Matt 20:16)

The currency of love …

I have been thinking about love and economics (as you do when you’re in the love  business). Some friends and I were talking about the lot of women and men in this country who have no choice but to be ‘maids and gardeners’ and how limiting it was for them. In effect what we were saying was how horrid it was to have to perform menial work, like gardening and cleaning. Truth be told, if I wasn’t doing this work, I would be a gardener, society asks me to say a landscape gardener – because that’s more fancy than ‘just a gardener’,  but truthfully – just a gardener would suit me fine. It made me think – what is it about these jobs which we think are beneath us, why do we think ‘professional jobs’ are better than ‘loving jobs’? Gardening and maids work are both about taking care of something with love, one the land in which we live and the other the home that keeps our families.

We had Frieda with us for almost 18 years and Frieda was like a second mother to both my sister and I – without getting into the politics and stuff of the reasons for only black maidservants – the question we could ask ourselves is why do we rate ‘caring’ jobs lower than almost any other kind of job?

I am in the ‘love’ business – sharing and talking about Love. God is love and so my job is to share God and share love. Ministers are present at life giving, love-filled moments, births, marriages, funerals, crisis, illness, celebrations and thanksgivings and one of the things I have come to understand more than any other is the power and importance of love – without love people lose their reason for living, without love people lose a sense of hope, without love people forget how to forgive, how to be forgiven, without love people forget how to live. Love can build and lack of love can destroy – it is of utmost importance, and yet any activity related to love is not considered ‘valuable’ in a monetary sense and because it’s not worthy in a monetary sense it is seen as ‘less than’ in the eyes of the world.

I have been listening a little to Rianne Eisler and her ideas on ‘caring economies’. How our patriarchal economies are based on measuring things which don’t necessarily bring life and love (like war and famine) and yet we ignore life-enhancing jobs such as care-giving and environmental affairs. She proposes a whole new way of doing economics and says that we should measure our economic wealth in terms of things which reflect our spiritual and emotional wealth as well – interesting concept…

I don’t doubt the influence that Frieda had on me as a child, shaping who I am as an adult – she may not have given me life, but she breathed into my life, making her a part of me still today. I wonder did I treat her with the right amount of respect she deserves – or did I treat her according to the dominant theme of my life so far – ‘just a servant’ …

Are our conversations shaping our reality and if they are, do we have the power to change that reality through having a new conversation?

A conversation which speaks life into our love and love into our lives?

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