Dignified death

Dignity
ˈdɪɡnɪti/

noun
1. the state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect.
“the dignity of labour”

2. a composed or serious manner or style.
“he bowed with great dignity”

3. a sense of pride in oneself; self-respect.
“it was beneath his dignity to shout”

There is a truth universally acknowledged which connects all human beings, and that is the truth of death. It is the one thing that whether rich or poor, black or white, prepared or not, will come for us all.

It doesn’t really ask us if we’re ok with it, nor do we usually have the choice as to when it happens.

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I can imagine that many places around the world today are debating the necessity or right of euthanasia. I know it’s quite a hot topic here in Melbourne, but I am unsure as to how the whole world is talking about it.

Now, before I get into it please understand this isn’t an attack on people who do support it – I can very easily understand why you would want a person you love to no longer suffer, especially as they draw near to death. Personally, the endurance of pain only proves how strong and brave someone is. And I suppose this is where my hindrance comes from – how does suffering and pain strip one of ones dignity?

From a young age I was taught that every human life is valuable and worthy of dignity. It is an inherent right we have as human beings.

Whilst I agree that intense pain and suffering are, especially for those who are dying, horrible, and things one should never have to endure, I won’t ever be able to say that because of pain, because of suffering, someone has the “right” to die, or someone is now without dignity. If that were the case, our population would most likely be zero.

Because who hasn’t suffered? Who hasn’t been in pain? And if we were to allow those with immeasurable pain to die, would that include depression sufferers who at their lowest point are in too much pain and want to die?

There are many people in my life who have suffered from depression; few who wanted to die and one that did. And I can honestly say that even though he had been in so much pain, I would never have wanted him to have the option of assisted death. Every scenario I would’ve wanted him to persevere.

I’m aware that the arguments for euthanasia are predominantly for those who are terminally ill, however many people who are suicidal would think of themselves as terminal, in the sense that it no longer seems viable for them to live and they can no longer endure what they’re going through.

Dignity

At the end of the day I think it depends on how you view dignity, pain, suffering and death.

I see pain as having been around since the dawn of time. It is a part of life no matter what stage of life you’re at; from the first childbirth to the first death, humans have endured physical and mental pain with great strength, and will continue to do so. Yet none of them (I would say) were undignified for it.

I feel as though we are encouraging a society to be afraid of pain and suffering when we shouldn’t. Like death, it is a part of life and surely a death ending in pain will not wipe out a life of beauty, dedication and hard work. It’s not ideal and it is most definitely not deserved. In that situation I know I would do everything I could to prevent my loved ones from their angst, but surely our dignity does not die because of suffering and pain?


Thank you! Hopefully I made some type of sense and got my confusion about pain, suffering and dignity across – I would love to hear more about why it should/shouldn’t be legislated and the pros and cons for it. This is purely an opinion void of stats and what not, so I would love to learn more! Cheers 🙂

Back to uni

For most, Uni has now started again here in Australia.

It is a time of great apprehension, excitement, clothing blunders and unmeasurable hope. This being my 5th year of uni, I’m quite used to the routine each new year brings, but I can still remember my first day and how I felt. It was for some stupid breadth subject that I absolutely loathed. It was such a waste of time but because of the Melbourne model we had to do it. It was probably at that time I thought “damn, should’ve gone to Monash”.

However, despite the many pointless subjects and stressful nights, I wouldn’t’ve had it any other way. And this is what I wish to tell my sister.

Yesterday was her first day and although it was uneventful and bland, I want her to know that uni will be some of the best days of her life. It is where i had the most fun and met the most incredible people and she will too.

I understand that when you start, it seems boring and totally overrated (at times it is 100%) but I don’t think many people look back on uni and think what a waste of time. Yes there are subjects (cough breadth cough) that are, but the lessons you learn, the person you find within yourself, will go with you even when you leave.

So if you too are starting Uni and are not looking forward to it, give it a chance. 3 or 4 years may seem like a long time, but in the grand scheme of things what’s a few years when finding out about yourself and the world? They will fly and before you know it, you’ll be working and looking back at your time now with a smile on your face.

So dress weird, cut your hair, travel, get a tattoo – whatever! Just enjoy 🙂

xo

Photos via unsplash

Fight the new drug

I’m sure like many people out there, you can’t help but love Ashton Kutcher.

He’s one of those people that no matter what they do, you won’t be able to stay mad at them for long.

This week, my respect for him, not as an actor, but as a humanitarian rose dramatically.

Clearly deeply affected by his testimonies and sheer passion for the cause, he delivered a powerful speech to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee about child sex trafficking/slavery.

Not only was it emotional, but highly forward thinking as he spoke about his organisation, Thorn, and the impact his software has already had on rescuing boys and girls from being trafficked.

Opening with a powerful story about a two year old girl being raped by an american tourist, all the while thinking “she was engaging in play“, left me absolutely devastated. How does this exist? How are children being shared amongst people and not being stopped?! HOW?!

Worldwide Issue

Unfortunately, many people think that child trafficking/slavery only exists in poorer countries. This is not true.

This issue is a global one, and one that is perpetuated even more so by pornography. In the video, Ashton recalls a significant moment where he was asked to identify the location of a child who had been raped for about 3 years and people online were watching and there was nothing he could do at that moment.

Unfortunately, this is very common. Children are often forced to engage in sexual activity in front of a camera which is then either live streamed or taped and then put online. Porn users then watch these videos, unaware (most of the time) as to where and who was filmed. I know – disgusting.

With 35% of all internet downloads related to pornography, there is no sign of slowing down for the porn industry and the dire effects it is having on our society. This means – logically speaking – that if there is an increase in demand, people are going to want to supply, therefore there will be more kids who end up being raped in front of a camera.

Educate yo’self

Porn is intrinsically linked to child sex trafficking/slavery. There is not separating the two. As it is an underground business, creators and producers make it their priority to make it seem that what you’re watching is real and enjoyed by those making it. I can’t imagine any child enjoying forced sex, can you?

As an educated society it is up to us to combat this new drug. Fight the new drug is a secular organisation that is trying to educate as many people as possible about the detrimental effects of porn not only on children, but on yourself.

I know it’s hard and quite confronting to talk about or even address this issue – but whether you’re a user or not, you deserve the chance to make an informed decision.

While we may not be able to create super cool software like Mr. Kutcher, we can help spread the word about the link between Children and porn. Child trafficking should really be in our history books. It breaks my heart that it isn’t.

But I don’t need you to care about my heart. I need you to care about their heart – they need you to care about their heart.


Photos via unsplash

How free is free speech?

Many of us have a view of the world that is very different to the person sitting next to you. You may love chocolate – they may not. You might think a 23 degree day is perfect – they may like it cold and prefer a 5 degree day. We all think differently.

Thank God for that too! Who would want to live in a world without debate, creativity and challenge? We would still be in the middle ages if it weren’t for the uniqueness each individual possesses.

But what happens when that opinion or free thought is not what the majority believe or think? What happens then?

Last week, Bride and prejudice aired an episode where a couple told their son that they were not going to attend his wedding in the US because they were against gay marriage. As you can imagine this sparked outrage and people (as they so often do on social media) began hurling insults their way, which were in my opinion completely unnecessary.

Now before you start hurling abuse at me, let me continue.

I found them unnecessary because I began to think about all of those times people would jump down my throat for things I believed in or things I thought we as a society should do. And they would badger me because what I thought was right, didn’t happen to coincide with the majority.

They would then explain to me that they had the right to think this and that, and also have the audacity to say that my thoughts and opinions were invalid or wrong – go figure.

We all have the right to free speech and to communicate our thoughts. You don’t have to agree with them, but you must make peace with the fact that some people will differ.

We don’t have to agree with what the mother did, but calling her names (behind a screen mind you) because she did something we wouldn’t do, makes you just as bad you think she is. It shows intolerance and elitism.

Let’s be a bit more open, let’s show the world this openness we claim to have.