I recently became acquainted with Call The Midwife, a PBS show set in 1947 based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, a young nurse and midwife in London's East End. The episodes are both intrguing and horrifying, as one gets to see life in that era – in all its simplicity and lack of advances. We are utterly fortunate to live in a time where medicine has progressed so far and technology affords us a quality of life that people then couldn't even begin to imagine.
Yet – and I don't think this is just the producers ficticious imaginings – there was a different timbre of relationships then. A commitment to service of humanity, loyalty to one another, a trust in both God and country. I wonder too if the constant losses of both life and fortune somehow grounded people. It seems those same deprivations also broke them. Maybe the past was not better or worse … perhaps it was both better and worse.
One thing is for certain – the series is so intriguing to me, because it is based in reality. This was someone's life. No one made this up – she actually lived it.
The paths we choose, whether more or less traveled; our choices make our lives. And our lives make that difference; at least we each desperately hope for as much. Perhaps 50 years from now, someone will be creating entertainment from our stories, imagining that we were remarkable.
They will be correct.