Episode 125--Are We Being Good Ancestors?
Hello, and welcome to episode 125 of the Childless not by Choice Podcast. My mission is to recognize and speak to childless not by choice women and men around the world, reminding you that you can live a joyful, relevant, fulfilled, childless not by choice, life.
I also welcome you if you are not childless not by choice. Maybe you did not want children, maybe you have children. Thank you for tuning in.
Well, it’s still January as of this recording, so Happy New Year! Happy 2021! If you’re here in The US, let’s just say we’ve already gotten off to a pretty rocky start, but it has also been a quite historic start as well.
It would be disingenuous at episode 125, to pretend we have not had some sort of relationship the past five years.
You have listened to me through the loss of my first podcast producer. It was a shocker as it came without warning. I had to ask a mutual friend, believe it or not, to edit the episode that was due. At that time I had no clue how to edit an episode. Now I have much more insight and knowledge on how to edit but I would still rather pay someone else to do it.
You have listened as I talked about the loss of my mom and how during the time of her illness I went from two episodes per month to one, which is where we are now. And where I believe we will be for the foreseeable future as I continue to care for my dad and maintain all of the other things I have on my plate. You listened to me talk about how much I miss her and how I felt some in the healthcare community failed her. Thanks for listening.
So, that rocky start I was talking about: I cannot begin to tell you how utterly angry, dismayed, shocked, and scared I was. All of those emotions wrapped up into one. I could not believe what I was seeing when Americans stormed their own country’s capital building chanting death to certain leaders. I posted on my Facebook page that day:
‘Too often we don’t know what we have until it’s gone, taken away, given away.’
I watched the insurrectionists try to give away the last 240 years and it broke my heart. My deepest condolences to the family of the police officer that was murdered. My deepest thanks are added to the millions who watched that handful of police officers try to protect the country’s seat of power.
And the historic start: The first woman, a woman of color became a national leader in America. Her father is Jamaican, and her mother was Indian--both immigrants. Only in America folks! I pray for the safety of our new president and new vice president daily.
I pray that even though there are some that want to see them fail on an epic level, there are more of us that are for them than there are against them.
I have to tell you though, that I also prayed for our previous president. He needed prayer. This may not be a popular stance with many, but as a Believer, it is mandated that I do so. See the link in the show notes for proof.
That is all I will say about all of the above. But you know what? It ties in well with today’s subject matter.
Before we move into today’s subject matter, two things: the first episode of 2021 was supposed to be my interview with Mrs. Pennsylvania 2020, except I um, messed up on the recording and did not know until my podcast producer went to record it. Totally my fault. So that interview has been rescheduled and will be airing hopefully in March. Thank you for your patience!
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So, what is today’s show about?
Jonas Salk (1914-1995) was the American medical researcher who developed the first polio vaccine in the mid-1950s.(Sep 24, 2014.) And then he refused to patent the vaccine, making it easier for more children to have the opportunity to be vaccinated. That means he gave up a lot of cash! I wish more people knew that no one lives forever, and you can’t take it with you. It appears Jonas Salk knew this.
But did you know that he said:
‘Our Greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.’--Jonas Salk.
I believe that is what he was doing when he opted not to patent the vaccine.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I never thought of myself as an ancestor. Not just because I am childless but because I’m still here. I don’t really want to think about myself in the past tense. However, I guess as we get older we start to think about our mortality. At least most people of a certain age do right? There are that few who believe they will live forever, but as far as I know death comes to all of us.
At the risk of continuing down a morbid path, let me move on. I can’t remember where I first came across this Jonas Salk quote, but I do recall it stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t know what to think at first. In split seconds, my brain went from ‘well that leaves me out of the mix’, to ‘wait, I can still be a good ancestor, an ancestor in general; even though I never had kids. I mean it was seconds from one thought to the next.
In fact, as I write the content for this episode, this has happened to me twice. This as in, I immediately went to ‘well, that leaves me out of the mix since I don’t have kids’, to wait I can still take part.
You see, I belong to a Facebook group where they asked everyone to join in this game where you include your child’s name in the response. Immediately I thought ‘well that leaves me out’. And then I thought well, ‘I can include the word childless where my child’s name would have been placed.
I wondered what the response would be to my inserting the word ‘childless’ until I saw multiple other women saying things like, ‘what name do I use if I don’t have kids ?’ or ‘Well I included my pet’s name since I don’t have kids.’ It turned out to be a fun game and I’m glad I played.
Look, I realize we are all in different places in our journey. I know that game may have sent some into anywhere from a tailspin to a pinprick, as Jody Day says. But what I want you to know is that you can take situations like these: a quote that you initially feel does not pertain to you or a game that you do not think you can join in because of your childlessness; and turn them around to your advantage.
You do what’s best for you where you are.
Don’t allow childlessness to keep you out of the game. And don’t let the game make you feel bad about your childlessness.
Being a good ancestor...
- Being a good ancestor pertains to all of us, childless or child filled.
- Being a good ancestor makes room for those of us who do not have children, to still be able to leave a legacy.
- Being a good ancestor means being a positive contributor to our communities.
- Being a good ancestor means finding a way to leave a small footprint, i.e. using less than we need from this planet.
- Being a good ancestor means being good aunts or uncles--how do we interact with our nieces and nephews? What can we do to help them get ready for life when they are very young? How can we be good support systems when they are young adults?
- Being a good ancestor means doing what we were put here to do. Because remember, we are here for a reason.
- What can you do to be a good ancestor?
Well, thank you for tuning in to our first episode of 2021! There are more great episodes coming. Next month you will hear my interview with Australian author Donna Ward, on her book ‘She I Dare Not Name, A Spinster’s Meditations on Life’. Yup, you heard right! So be sure to tune in for that episode in February!
In the meantime, remember we meet via Zoom every couple of months, but the link will only be placed in our Facebook group. The next meeting is slated for February. Be sure to browse through the show notes here for details on how to contact me or anything else having to do with the podcast.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice!
Until next time! Bye!
Happy New Year!
Podcast episodes you may also like to listen to:
The Scripture I mentioned above:
‘First of all, then, I urge that petitions (specific requests), prayers, intercessions (prayers for others) and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all people, 2 for [a]kings and all who are in [positions of] high authority, so that we may live a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.’--1 Timothy 2:1-2.
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‘To recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.’
‘Spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life’.