Someone posted this meme on Facebook this week along with the comment that things in our world are spiralling downward. They wondered what had happened to kindness, respect and lending a helping hand in our world. I responded to this meme which I think is probably being promoted by those who have strong opinions about the abortion and assisted dying issue by saying……….
“It is important to keep in mind that things are improving. The abortion rate in Canada has been steadily dropping for almost a decade now. The infant mortality rate in the world has been cut in half in the last two decades.
There has been a steady increase in the number of hospices and death doulas in North America. These services help families as a loved one’s life ends and the opportunities we offer seniors for quality of life would be envied in many countries of the world I have traveled to.
As to your comments on this meme- my experience has been that most people are basically kind and respectful. A recent study showed that 90% of people will stop to help a stranger they see in trouble. I know we still have a long way to go but I think it is important to not only look at the negative but also the positive to give ourselves hope and faith in a brighter future.”
I think that rather than wallowing in ‘how bad things are’, and I will admit I can easily do that too, we would be better served by taking actions that give us hope. If you think life in the womb isn’t being respected advocate politically and in other ways for free birth control, more comprehensive sex education in schools, more daycare spaces and financial support for struggling post-secondary students. These are all well-researched ways to lower the abortion rate. Give money to organizations bringing better health care, prenatal care, vaccinations for childhood diseases, better sanitation facilities and clean water to places in the world where too many children still die. These agencies abound and we can support them with our donations.
If you are worried about seniors you can volunteer at a nursing home or make sure you are visiting aging relatives as often as you can. You can advocate for more services for seniors in your community or volunteer to offer those services using your skillset. You can raise money for a hospice in your community or provide support to a family that is dealing with the terminal illness of one of its members.
And as far as kindness, respect and lending a helping hand goes- teach those values to your children, make sure they see you behaving in that way. Find opportunities to highlight, applaud and thank people who do extend kindness, respect and a helping hand.
I don’t think things in our world will get better if we paint a dark picture and fail to look for goodness, light and forward progress. It’s there. We just need to see it and talk about it and keep things moving in a positive direction.
My Facebook connection who posted the meme respectfully read my comments and she responded in a positive way, seeing the value in my sentiments. I appreciated that.