by: Lita Kurth on June 21st, 2010 | 5 Comments »
What is a High Quality of Life?
I once lived for an entire year as an exchange student with a British family in Bristol, UK. Their house, one end of a three-house row, contained three bedrooms, one bathroom, small living and dining rooms, and a tiny kitchen, too small for eating in. They owned one car, a little Vauxhall, and one TV, yet considered themselves well able to feed, house, and entertain a stranger for an entire year.
By American middle-class standards, this family was practically poor, yet their four children received great educations. They attended excellent live theatre all the time; I saw eight professional plays, a handful of concerts, and numerous movies that year, not to mention visiting art museums, historic parks, and nature reserves. The mom sang in an impressive city choir, and their small hallway contained a piano. Their street and tiny front yard were well-cared for and attractive. My school was safe and good. The National Health Service tended to their illness and dental needs (and mine). Their local library was big and well-stocked. We ate healthy breads, fresh fruit and vegetables every day, fresh creams, cheeses, small amounts of good meat. They read good newspapers and watched the BBC. They volunteered both officially, for organizations, and unofficially helping neighbors and relatives. They took vacations to Cornwall and to Spain as well as weekend excursions. In terms of health, personal development, and community, their quality of life was enviable.
Supposedly, in the Bay Area and especially San Jose, we’re a lot more fortunate.