“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence” –  Denis Waitley

Now while we all have our own ideas of what independence means, I think most will agree that to look after oneself without assistance is the root of that meaning. But I wonder how many really understand what it means to totally look after yourself, without assistance.

I was out on a date the other week when we got to the part about discussing our personal beliefs & goals when my date was mentioning how he was doing his bit for the environment and also for charity but also that he was still on his way to his goal of home-ownership in the near future in which also his finances would ensure he would have a regular house-cleaner.

I wasn’t completely stunned as I’d rented with males before and known this is the norm for them to behave around such housekeeping issues but unlike previously keeping quiet about this interesting point I piped up ‘wait a second, wait a second, what do you mean you need a cleaner?’ ‘What’s the cleaner for?’ He straight-away stated that he would be too busy with work to do that. ‘Well’ I said, ‘Then you must have too big a house in mind for yourself’. ‘Oh’ he followed, ‘Well it’s creating jobs anyhow’.

Of course it is popular culture to strive for the type of success that involves the need for a house-cleaner/nanny/driver/personal assistant/gardener under the guise of being too busy, a trend most probably carried down from the buorgeois period.

The mind boggles to think what kind of world we live in where we cannot even clean up after ourselves! How on earth can we teach our children how to be responsible and clean up their own messes if we do not…..? It is no wonder we have a culture of litigation.

The media continually throws in our face picture after picture of the famous people ‘stars’ as they are called, posing like they just discovered the secret to world peace or talking about their busy lives while in the background it’s their assistances that actually help them create that illusion.

If we don’t enjoy cleaning, why do we think that cleaners do just because it is their occupation?

Why do we think that we should have houses too big that we need help cleaning them? Or too many clothes we need help to wash them? Or too big a garden we need help to keep it under control?

Why do we think that life means complete strangers should help raise our children instead of ourselves? If so, why do we have them? Is it for their benefit or ours?

Why is it beneath us to clean up after ourselves? Why do we delude ourselves to think independence means assistance?

Maybe there’s another piece of the puzzle to looking after the environment by looking after our environment and not expecting others to do it for us.

What people who don’t do their own cleaning don’t realise is how therapeutic it is and how enjoyeable it can be to clean. Regularly cleaning the house is like regularly cleaning the soul; you take a moment out from your busy life or other people’s demands for yourself to brush away the cobwebs, wipe away the refuse and let in the fresh air and breathe new life into it.

Then not only do you reap the reward of a great-looking place but the pride of doing it yourself, much-like you would have felt when you were three and first tied your own shoelace.

Sometimes, the best things in life are free.

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