You’re Too Expensive
I spent my childhood growing up on a farm/ranch. If there was one thing you learned by a young age, it was not to get too attached to any animal aside from a dog or cat because there was no promise how long they would be on the farm. Some animals were sold for profit to keep the ranch running, while on the other hand some were named ‘deep freeze’ in order to provide protein to sustain my family. I know some people may find that crude but unless you do not eat meat, it is no different than buying meat at the market, actually, it's better for you.
A challenge with ranch living is dealing with lame animals, animals who cannot reproduce, or other issues along those lines. The issue always eventually becomes what is best to do with these animals because they do put a drain on the ranch resources. Some get put out to pasture, to simply live the rest of their days eating grass in leisure as long as they are not in pain or suffering because you never want to keep an animal of any kind for your own sake when they are in pain. In some sadder cases, we have to put the animal down so they are not left to live their life in agony. So being the granddaughter of a rancher, when this never-ending pain made it apparent that it was going to stick with me and not leave anytime soon, I could not think about anything but those lame animals we had encountered my entire life. How I have watched my grandfather expertly inspect the animal and watch them closely before he made the decision on what would be the next step for their lives.
I specifically remember leaning up against my grandfather in front of the barn as he wrapped one arm around my side and ask how I was doing. With a sigh, I told him that if I was a horse, he would have put me down by now because I am surely not getting any better. With all his years and wisdom, he laughed a little and said no because I was much too expensive to be put down to be put down. (My husband says he has too much money invested in me at this point, so even though my warranty is obviously out, he is not trading me in for a newer model).
Hearing my grandfather say without a hesitation that I was much too expensive to be put down made something register in my head. I have a host of medical issues that tend to keep me weighed down at times. These kinds of issues and amounts of pain can make you feel more like a burden and less like a benefit to society a lot of times. So, a reminder that you are still very much valuable to the people in your life and to society is a reminder that we need sometimes. There are times when we have to remind ourselves that we matter and then there are times we need others to remind us that we matter. As advocates, we need to remember to remind one another that regardless of how bad today may be, tomorrow or next week we could accomplish something that nobody else could have accomplished without us. While we may be in pain, we still matter and drastically contribute to the world around us.
Have you ever needed to be reminded that you were too expensive to be put down, that you mattered regardless of your pain?
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