Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Would you like Insurance with that?



I’m a great believer in quality above quantity which is a wonderful opening line to this blog post as I haven’t written a post in a while.  I’m not apologizing - as for me real life always comes before my blogging life, but besides that I write when the muse takes me and I actually have something to say.  Otherwise I find it’s just fluff and not really fit for anyone to read.  

Within the last few months I’ve become a committee member to a brand new modern quilt movement guild in my part of the world.  I don’t know how familiar any of you are with beginning an organization from the grass roots but I suspect it’s not as easy as it once was from say back in my grandmothers time.  I use my grandmother as an example for multiple reasons.  One, I was close to her and was able to establish a relationship with my grandmother outside of just family associations.  She was my grandmother but in real terms also a contemporary in the quilt world so we spoke on matters outside of familiar ties.  In this way I got to know her as an individual as well as a relative.  And two,  she also was a committee member of her local quilt association.  I wish she were around today so we could compare notes on the processes then and now in getting textile groups off the ground and running.  

In this day and age it seems everything is about insurance.  Health insurance in case you get sick, life insurance in case you die, vehicle insurance to cover accidents, and now of course insurance to cover the unforeseeable with associations such as quilting where members participate in the frightening ritual of meeting at each other’s home to discuss our craft.   I find it alarming and sad that our world has become so litigious that even friendly crafting groups must concern themselves with the possibility of being sued if a visitor to their home gets injured (through no fault of the host....).  Whatever happened to the true definition of the word ‘accident’?  Meaning an unintentional mistake through no ones neglect or fault?  Why does it appear everyone now has to point a finger and say ‘it had to be SOMEONES fault other then my own that I backed into that fence when leaving your house...’    I wonder if we as a society became this way because of a failure to accept responsibility for our actions or because we’ve been told by money making entities that faults in our actions can be blamed on others in almost any given situation?  And who wins really?  If you feel the need to find blame and sue someone for your actions you may become a bit richer in pocket but certainly poorer morally and in your associations with others.  The insurance companies win of course because they hold no moral high ground.  They just want your premiums paid on a regular basis so they keep you in perpetual fear of being sued for no good reason.  It’s a win/win for them and a lose/lose for us as a people.  

And this brings me back to the challenges of getting a quilting association off the ground.  Good intentions means little really.  The desire to share fellowship in quilting with other like minded people come second to the practicalities of the money making machine and paying the fear fairies for the privilege of meeting as a group all ‘insuranced up’ for any contingency.   In all the conversations I had in the past with my grandmother not once did I ever hear her utter a word about insurance coverage for the ladies welcomed into her home to share their love of textiles and the art.  And I’m absolutely certain when one woman of her group tumbled over after slipping on a rogue spool of thread on the floor, that my grandmother wasn’t sued for neglect.  Instead of being compensated with a big cheque that unfortunate soul had a quilt made for her by all the members of the group using the spool pattern to commemorate the event.   

I know this is 2012 and not 1960 and the world is a different place.  But how I long for a simpler mentality to just meeting as a group and enjoying the company of like minded people.