When did it happen?
Truly, I need to know!
As a nation, we are compassionate,
That much: is- a- fact;
We lead the global list of per capita donations to charity & worth-while causes,
And in the wake of disaster and need,
We respond wholeheartedly,
Often, without restraint!
However, in the quiet corners of this nation-
The aged live isolated (even, neglected) lives;
If the curse of debilitating ill health should visit you in your old age,
Likely modern medicines will keep you alive and prolong your life,
Thereafter, it seems it’s down to random luck if you will be entrusted to carers with compassion and understanding, or not,
A frequent topic of discussion of call-in talk shows, which, each time, unearth frightening and disturbing accounts of neglect & maltreatment,
Suggesting the problem is neither isolated nor localised,
A frightening prospect, then:
Which, at its worse, could condemn you to suffer in silence, making pleas for help to unsympathetic deaf ears, or worse till your end of days,
Perhaps even left un-cleaned in your own excrement, to likely develop bed sores;
To face an unimaginably painful dread end;
Where is the imbued compassion of years old?
Why has the death of compassion allowed to become so widespread?
They’ve given their best, only to be treated like consumables past their prime and cast aside!
Lying in a human equivalent of a landfill site (with a marginally better hygienic regime), waiting their turn to die;
Why is this so? When in other (perhaps less developed) nations, this is not so?
Is it a by-product of our hectic, busy-busy, over-sophisticated lives?
Or, does obsession with self, rather than the whole, mean-
We are individually less generous with our time, patience or understanding, than even with our money –
A national disgrace no matter what positive spin is put on it by those in authority;
Who will likely compare favourable statistics with unfavourables, deftly playing the well-practised numbers game;
For, unlike other less developed but better performing countries or societies on this front-
This country can afford to do something about this udesirable phenomenon, but chooses not to;
Because, it should never be forgotten:
That not every problem can be fixed with money and you cannot (no matter what you believe) pay another to care about one of your nearest and dearest, as well as you would.