Bread & Roses

“We want bread and roses too”

I’ve had “Bread & Roses” stuck in my head for days and days.  I’ve been humming it under my breath, hearing it in my dreams, and singing it at the cat. (The cat has is quite discerning).

Bread & Roses is a poem and protest song from the early 20th century.  It’s been sung by Joan Baez, John Denver, and many more.  It’s basic premise is that it’s not enough to have just the bare bones to survive.  Human beings deserve and are entitled to light and love and hope and joy as well.  We want bread and roses too.

It’s hard to think about the roses when the NHS is struggling for the basics.  When operations are being cancelled, and A&E departments are over-flowing, and wards are under-staffed across the country.  It feels like we’re fighting just for the bread.  Asking for time and people to carry out that work with care and compassion seems like a dream.

But it has to be a dream we keep believing in.  Because it’s not just about providing the basics; it’s not just about bread on the table.  It’s about making sure that we care and listen and have time.

We want bread and roses too

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