Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Monday 20th April

Everything, I think, has some kind of equivalent monetary value, if you look hard enough. And everyone has very individual expectations and a very different understanding of money.

Today on the radio, there was a regular call-in ‘survey’, where the question that was posed was something to do with the appropriate remuneration for a ‘home executive’ / stay-at-home mum who did the house work too. The figure that was mentioned was R55000 per month.

At the time, my only response was: “You definitely aren’t talking about teachers!”

Later in the day, I thought about placing a monetary value on what can really be considered ‘the daily round, the common task’: including serving food, clearing dishes and packing the dishwasher, hanging out washing etc. How do you actually value things like that?

Apparently with difficulty, as some callers said it was way too much, others way too little.

There is little parity, at times, with how we see the world. So much depends on our circumstances and our history.

I was thinking that someone who has had no close encounter with cancer cannot really know the depth of the sense of threat the disease holds. They could have quite a good understanding of the idea of the disease/condition as something threatening and invasive. They can never truly feel the insidious nature of the harmful tissue sitting quietly in the body, working only to replicate itself and, perhaps, to spread. They cannot know how it feels to have to face the thought of the treatment to get rid of the cancer, or of the impact of the aftermath of the treatment.

But then, there are so many things like this in the world. No-one can truly understand what an experience is like and how it actually impacts on a person, unless they have actually gone through it.


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