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.

*

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 🙂

Advertisements

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

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.

 

Success is in the eye of the beholder

What did you want to be when you were little? A fairy? A fireman? A policeman? Even perhaps a maid? Is that would would’ve made you happy or… successful? 

Today I was asked an interesting 2-part question:

Who do you think is great at life? What makes them successful?

Now, this is a question I’ve been dealing with a lot lately so it didn’t take me by surprise, however I still hadn’t managed to formulate a proper response for myself let alone for someone else!

As I sat there eating my lunch I realised I knew what I had to say, but was a bit afraid as it’s not an opinion most people share.

So I answered the first part and I said “happy people”. This for me is what makes someone great at life. However, my response needed elaboration; let me explain.

Most people think happy people have money – wrong! That’s what you think makes people happy, but I’ve realised over time that it’s not true.

When I said “happy” I was talking about those people who no matter what type of life they lead, they wake up every morning knowing how lucky they are. They live everyday overcoming obstacles and realising their own strength and potential. For me, being great at life has nothing to with money, but everything to do with integrity and happiness.

Someone can be waitressing their whole life and absolutely love it. They wake up everyday happy with what they’re doing which deserves the utmost respect. Now, I wouldn’t be able to do that, but that’s because I am a different person, and just like people have different opinions on who is great at life, people have different opinions on who succeeds in life. Which leads to my response for the second part.

You earn heaps of money?! OMG you’re soooooo successful!!!

As we map out our path in life, we realise that becoming what we want to be may not be as easy or possible as we once thought. We hit walls, break bones, but worst of all we usually succumb to society and end up belittling jobs that are at times deemed unsuccessful.

Yet one thing our ego allows us to forget is that the world does not revolve around our opinion. After speaking with many people, everyone had different versions of success. And to say that someone is unsuccessful because they’re not living by your definition or by what society has painted as success is a tad elitist.

What constitutes success? Money? Fame? Your opinion? A big house? What? What makes one successful in life?

Not everyone can be a doctor, or a lawyer or whatever else society has deemed important and respectable. Everyone has a job to do and all jobs need to be done. Every job is important, and just because you may be raking it in, does not make you better then me or anyone else.

Don’t get me wrong, utmost respect if you have worked hard and are doing what you want and getting paid well for it! But you’re not more successful than the guy who decided he wanted to cook burgers for a living 😉

If I held everyone to my standard of success, I highly doubt I would think many are succeeding- I don’t think the majority of the world population speaks 5 languages!

So I guess what i’m trying to say with this long train of thought you’ve just read, is that if you’re happy doing what you love and are sharing that love with everyone else, you’re doing great at life and succeeding – not matter your pay, whether high or low.