Can we change?

In today’s world people like to play “the shame game.” We have no problem shaming someone who is not “like us.” This is rampant among teens but any of us are capable of joining in.

It is so easy to put down those who are different. Maybe they are fat, or too thin, or too black, or too white, or Muslim, or Christian, or Hindu….I could go on and on. Maybe they just don’t agree with us. We are becoming so polarized. Left vs right, Republican vs Democrat.

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One of the things I have encountered recently is intolerance about my moderate position. Somewhere between the black and white there is a whole spectrum of gray. Few things in this world are a simple as black and white. Most things have layer upon layer of opinion. Each of us has to make decisions based on our upbringing, our core values and our ethical stance. A choice that may be right for me may be terribly wrong for someone else.

We are losing all respect for opinions differing from our own. It is considered fine to metaphorically hang, draw and quarter those who are different. Love, tolerance and respect have given way to hatred and abuse.

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Somehow I hope the pendulum begins to swing the other way. As the population of the earth continues to grow our exposure to others will grow also. We will have to learn to respect the personal space and ability to see things differently of those around us.

I hope we can.

Entitled?

Entitlement. A word that raises my blood pressure the moment I hear it. There are so many issues around this word.

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Thee have been many discussions about millennials feeling entitled but they are not alone. The news has been full of wealthy people who have paid to get their children into prestigious schools. Some have paid millions. Money has made them entitled. I don’t think that this is uncommon. Whether it is movie stars, billionaires, politicians or others many today feel that they are special. The problem is they feel they are special beyond their particular world. A great many of them have a “greater than” attitude toward the rest of us.

They believe they are better than the social worker who spends her life helping people… better than the worker who has two jobs to support his family… better than the teacher who takes time to be sure pupils get the best education possible.

They feel entitled to pronounce on topics they know little about because they are smarter, prettier, wealthier. We are expected to fawn on them and understand that they are indeed special.

Some people indeed are prettier, wealthier, more famous or important in terms of popularity or being known. That does not give them the right to  look down on others.

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So many people never heard of love mankind more deeply, work harder to help others, work to save the earth, live lives of honesty and duty and many other traits. Let’s let them be entitled.

New York abortion law?

(I hope in the following I will be able to talk about the new law as I have heard it. I have no intention of discussing opposing views on the topic. I am just trying to wrap my brain around what I have heard. It seems that politics has now invaded medical ethics.)

(There are moral side issues that influence the issue such as rape and mother/fetus problems. These are not the ones I am addressing.)

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A hot topic is in the news again (and again)…abortion. I am going to try to talk about this from my perspective as a nurse. If I understood how the law in New York is phrased an abortion may be performed up to and including labor. If this is correct then it seems we have totally gone off the rails.

There are many people opposed to abortion in its entirety. They see conception as the creation of a being and that happening the moment a sperm and a cell join.

Others feel that it is not a life until it is viable…usually after at least 12 weeks. My recollections of earlier abortion ideas are there would be no abortions after 12 weeks except for extreme reasons. If a fetus is not old enough to survive outside the uterus it could be aborted.

Those seem to be the two sides previously as far as I can tell.

Now it seems that abortions can be performed on those old enough to survive outside the womb. Even to the point that the “baby” is about to be born. I find this idea unbelievable. I cannot imagine why anyone who could want an abortion would want to carry until labor and then decide to end a life. Are we talking about a “full term” infant? As a nurse I could not stand by and see that life snuffed out. Why would you not just give the baby up for adoption?

Am I understanding this law correctly?

Am I in the twilight zone or does this sound the least bit rational?

No matter my stance on abortion in general (not for discussion on Word Press) taking the life of a child while mother is in labor with a baby considered full term surely must be murder. P.E.R.I.O.D/

Our emphasis  has for too long been on political views and some sane alternatives are not being addressed.

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We have to reach the understanding that attention must be placed on preventing unwanted pregnancies. Prevention is the key. Practically little money or interest is on the necessary methods of pregnancy prevention. Help must be easily accessible to everyone and free. Education must begin early and be offered freely.

It seems to me that this is the only way to begin to address the problem no matter your position on the topic.  This will not be easy or quick but we have to start now making this a priority.

 

Question: Do I understand this law correctly?

Core values and end of life

medical_business_partners_core_valuesThere are times when I reflect on someone else’s life and wonder how they manage. There are so many tragic stories out there. I have wondered how I would react if asked to live life as a paraplegic…if I could not longer feel anything but my face. What would be my reaction to being trapped in my body with only a mind to make me feel alive? Would I cope or would I seek to end my life?

How would I react if my husband required 24/day care and I didn’t have the money to hire someone to help?

In life there can be some living nightmares. Scenarios that we not only wouldn’t want to be in but also wouldn’t wish on someone else.

It is an ethical dilemma to make decisions when things like this happen. Would you be willing to help someone die? (Assuming of course that their life was full of nothing but pain and imminent death.)

These are core questions. The kind that we hope we never have to come up against but they are real.

What are your core values? If faced with this kind of decision how would you decide?  It can be difficult to envision this ever happening to you but this kind of thinking does help you to understand deep moral questions. For those of us with a faith underpinning we hope that we would turn to that for guidance.

decisionIn my time as a nurse I have seen families struggle with decisions that can tax their moral ground. I have seen them divided over the answers and sometimes torn apart by it. Many times we would like for the doctors to tell us what to do but that is not their decision to make. Most of them will avoid giving an opinion which makes it harder.

If you have never considered having a living will to take the burden off of those around you please think about this. We tend to think that this sort of thing is for older people but the worst struggles come when something happens to someone young. You are never too young to fill out this important document. It seems morbid but it is important.

If you don’t know how to get an advanced directive leave a comment and I will answer.

Protect our moral values

Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons. R. Buckminster Fuller

Science is a wonderful thing. Conversely science is an awful thing. As people find out new things about how everything works there are some wonderful discoveries. We are learning more about DNA, RNA, genes and what their impact is on our lives. We are heading toward curing some terrible diseases. This is a wonderful thing. If we use this information to increase wellness and reduce pain and suffering that will be good.

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However, in some ways we have opened Pandora’s box. The Nazi’s wanted to “purify” the race and make selections for genetic manipulation. There are people who would like to do that now. Imagine if a like-minded group rose up and used the information we have currently to change the people of the world to suit them. We have the knowledge  available. Science can run amok.

Everyone in the world is not working from the same moral code. There is great diversity among cultures. Those of us in the western world have (hopefully) been exposed to a culture that values human life. I’m not so sure we have conquered honoring diversity. The thought of some group deciding to make all genetic choices for us is frightening.

ethics-of-scientific-research-rc-d-ec-2014-16-638Science is a wonderful thing but it must be monitored to keep it within moral limits. If we are not careful we will find ourselves with no say in the matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perspective

perspectivePerspective is a funny thing. Each of us has our own. Ours is like ourselves. It is unique. Different from anyone else. Initially our perspective came from our family. As children we were influenced by how the people around us felt about things. Probably, at least initially, accepting their point of view. As we grew and our horizons widened we began to measure that perspective against the wider world. We were influenced by our teachers, and our peers. We began to question the ideas we learned from our family and measure them against what we were learning. We began to make our own choices or match those of the people who influenced us.

When we became adults we already had a set of values that came with us. Those ideas are the perspective that we use to weigh ideas. The viewing point from which we function. For most of us the perspective glasses that we look through will change over time but for some people it is ingrained and any suggestion of change is beyond imagining.

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We can see those people in our world. They are the ones who see gays as sinful, trans people as unthinkable, people of a different color as “other,” mentally ill as those who should be locked away. Sometimes life events can work their magic and these people can alter those glasses but sometimes not.

We will encounter all sorts of people in our journey through life. We have to learn to recognize those who are unable to change and let them fade from our vision. They cannot change and their aversion and hatred will just color our own view. They were shaped the way they are and we must move on and not let their negative persona influence our lives.

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There are people who are open, accepting, and who offer love and support. Let the thoughts of the others roll off you and into the void where they belong. God has created only good. That includes everyone. Even those whose glasses will never change.

I weep, truth must be heard

In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.-—George Orwell

This quote speaks so clearly to me of our times. It seems that truth has passed away and we should be mourning.  There are no more statesmen only politicians. There is no more consideration for the good of people or nations but only for the people in control. Because of the rapid sharing of information this virus has spread throughout the world. Power, money and position are all that matters.

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I weep for the world. I weep for the children and their children. I weep for all that was before. Mankind has never been perfect, never been without greed or hubris but it wasn’t the total driving source. Goodness was found in the past and can still be found but it is being pushed into dark culverts and trash strewn alleys. The voice of truth and wisdom is almost not recognized. It has become a foreign language.

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We must, somehow, begin to be heard. We must speak until our voices rise above the corruption and greediness of the powerful. We cannot stay silent. Each of us has one voice but one voice added to another voice doubles the sound. We cannot allow ourselves to be silenced.

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We must speak out about injustices: sexual, racial, status, health, lifestyle, position, occupation, age and any others that rise to minimize others. We must speak clearly about the state of the earth, a living thing with animals, plants and humans, and our abuse of the resources we pillage. Nothing else will do.

I weep for us all. I weep.

We must speak. It is time for truth.