Can I choose?

opinionThis blog contains opinions that are mine. If you disagree with me that is fine.

Recently the in the US the state of Texas has set about removing the choices that women have in regard to their lives. The state has made it almost impossible for someone to receive an abortion for any reason whatever. Whether or not you agree with abortion the fact that a group, mostly men, are making decisions about the health of women is abhorrent to me. It feels as if Margaret Atwood’s book is coming true and before long we will be living out The Handmaids Tale (title?).

As a woman, I cannot accept that medical issues of female health are being legislated. I don’t see men’s health issues being handled the same way. What if someone wanted to legislate who could take Viagra? The outcry would be heard round the world.

choiceThis is another one of those ethical issues that I touched on in another blog. It is so difficult for us human beings to parse the complexity of abortion. We have the same difficulty with euthanasia. The whole thing seems to rest on whether we control our own lives or not. Our freedom will necessarily be tied to whether or not we harm others and both of these problems are linked to that. As a nurse I certainly adhere to do no harm but each individual case may have a different answer. Does the government get to decide without knowing the circumstances?

I don’t claim to know the answers. Where does our freedom to choose stop? If you have an answer let me know.

What is right?

moralThere are so many ethical issues that we have today. Some of them almost seem insoluble. Advancements in gene studies have given us major things to wrestle with. Where do we draw the line.

When I was working in Neonatal Intensive Care ( many moons ago) there already was the issue of which babies should be saved and which ones to let go. King Solomon wouldn’t know what to do. Now it is even worse. We do invitro  fertilization and have eggs left over. Scientists want to use eggs that will be discarded tto get stem cells which can be used to help many diseases. Are they “potential” babies or not?

Medicine has challenged many ethical and moral ideas over the centuries. We can do so many things that were not done before. We are living a lot longer and there is a question about prolonging life beyond what is reasonable and moral. Are we using up resources that could better be used for others?

pathThe Bible does help us with its basic moral ground but these things were not issues when the Bible was written. We have to learn to ask questions and spend time understanding the answers in order to make judgments.  Even then there may not be any clear path. Sometimes there are two good choices….sometimes two bad. Who is to decide? It seems that it is up to each of us to understand and make a decision based on our own beliefs. This means that there will be differing opinions and we will have to learn to accept that others may not agree with us. It is important for us to view their decision with tolerance even if they can’t see ours.

God, as always, will be present and knows that we will try to make the best decisions with prayer and compassion.

What did you say?

Recently, my granddaughter, who is taking linguistic anthropology said that she realizes that people seldom understand each other. Language can mean so many different things. If we grew up in different places our usage of words can be very different from others. This can lead to some pretty interesting mistakes.

understandA friend of mine from Britain once said that her downstairs neighbor knocked her up each morning. When I asked for clarity she said he took a broom and knocked on the ceiling of his flat to make sure she was awake.

 

Language is a vague and nebulous way to communicate. Too often we think we have been clear when that is far from reality. My college roommate used to say she was going to red up the room. I had no idea what that meant but found out she was going to clean up. She and I are both from the same country.

quiltLanguage is tricky. Expressing ourselves and opening ourselves to others can have unwanted results. We don’t know how someone is going to react. I know that some blogs have received hate mail in response to something that was posted. It is very easy to misunderstand when someone is sharing thoughts and feelings. We need to be generous in our response to others and know that we may be misunderstanding. It is also possible that we may not agree but it is fine to disagree. Just know that someone is entitled to think differently. We are not all alike!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am NOT in charge!

vacationIt is wonderful to go away for vacation and I always look forward to coming home. Two positives. However, this time I should have stayed on vacation. The morning after I arrived home one of our basset hounds had diarrhea everywhere. It was so bad that I actually trashed two rugs that were old. They will go to the dump.

We were sure it was our male basset as he is on medicine that could cause that to happen. While I cleaned up my husband called the vet and got time to take him in. Just before going out the door our female basset had another bout of diarrhea and we realized she had the problem. Almost took the wrong dog!

disasterThe vet gave her meds but her problem continued the next morning and finally stopped. So another day of cleanup. Then the male dog threw up. He is prone to eat too fast and choke. Another clean up. By this time I am sure I had cleaned every floor in the house so that’s one good thing. Both dogs seem to be ok now.

Yesterday I began to feel as if I was coming down with something and sure enough I now have a cold. Just your ordinary …garden variety cold but I feel yuk. Can I go away and start over?

The good new is that I was supposed to start a class at 8:00 am the morning after I arrived home. It was to go 8-4 for three and 1/2 days. The class was canceled which proves that God is definitely in charge. Although life was challenging for the last few days and I still have a cold it could have been worse.

god in charge

Thank you God for being in control. Life would not be possible without you!

Failure?

When I was growing up I wanted to do everything perfectly. Anything that caused me to struggle and that I couldn’t get right I just quit. I suppose that is connected with some OCD. My father was always encouraging me to try things but if I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it perfectly I didn’t even try. I am sure that an attitude such as that kept me from experiencing many interesting things. I really don’t think that my parents expected excellence in everything and I certainly wasn’t perfect in school. (Due to lack of interest) I just didn’t want to try and fail.

failure-good-thing-fixedIt is really important to teach children that it is in the failures that we learn the most. I guess I never thought of how many failures most inventors go though before they discover what works.

failureIf it is pointed out to them children can see that everyone fails at something. The perfect example is the 1986 disaster of the Challenger space flight. That was a huge mistake and the results were horrible. NASA learned from that as do every one of us when we fail. None of us is perfect. We can learn from failure. We just have to get up and try again.

Don’t Lose the Wisdom

A friend called today about the effort of getting her very elderly and fragile husband out of the path of the storm. It started me thinking about the plight of those of us who are aging. So often society today is concentrated on the ideas of the young. Everyone wants to look younger. Many plastic surgeons live off of this. There is the idea that the old have nothing to offer. Let’s just shuffle them off to a facility where we can visit once in a while so we can live our lives.

wisdom-189When families lived together this was not the case. The elderly were respected for their wisdom. Those of us who have lived for a while do have insights that we never saw when we were young. Sometimes our vision is based on past experiences and is given to help someone not make the same mistakes. Someone once said that history is to remind us of what didn’t work.

It is a tragedy that so much wisdom is being lost. I remember spending time with my grandmother and learning so much about life and how to live it. Somehow we need to learn how to reverse this trend and appreciate the wisdom we can gain from those who have learned throughout their lives.

old ageMany of us are finding ways to help by volunteering where our skills are needed and appreciated. I hope this trend continues.

Don’t lose the wisdom gathered by our older generation.