Our staggeringly cruel treatment of the ill and dying – why are we allowing this?
Very few New Zealanders will be anything like comfortable with Jacinda Ardern’s government policy, which, while ostentatiously promoting well-being and kindness, denies the lonely and dying elderly in our rest homes and hospitals from being with those they have spent their lives cherishing.
Mothers and fathers not able to say goodbye to their children! Children not able to be with and comfort their parents… husbands and wives to assure each other of that love they have given through thick and thin…to tell the most important things of all…just to hold a hand and be there.
It feels dreadfully morally wrong that we are conniving at agreeing with our politicians that our survival as a society necessitates our turning our backs on those who have meant so much to us – even given their lives for us – a tragedy of repudiation of the most vulnerable at the time – when they may most of all need us with them.
Some would argue that to be able to see and give comfort at such an important time is one of the most important things we can do in our lives – and would argue that we will still eventually defeat this coronavirus – but that the price we pay by being kept away from those who have such a great need of this – those they love being with them – is one that is simply too high.
I would agree. And I would ask those of you who feel the same to write to the Prime Minister -it’s certainly easy enough to email any MP…and the leader of the Opposition and/or or your own MP. All it requires is a first name, a full stop, then @parliament. govt nz – For example : – Winston.Peters@parliament. govt.nz …and so on.
One very useful thing to remember is that in normal times, most MPs don’t bother to read their emails. Their staff do it for them. And apparently sme staff are quite good at making sure that emails they personally might not like don’t get sent on to the ministers.
But now, with secretaries apparently not being on duty in Parliament, MPs wanting to take the measure of the country are answering their own emails – as I have just discovered from one high-ranking politician writing back directly.
And from this fine reminder from Rabbi Dr Shai Held, in the Atlantic March 12, 2020, well titled The staggering heartless cruelty towards the elderly comes the overdue reminder that a global pandemic doesn’t give us cause to treat the aged callously.
Isn’t it time to protest about the fact that we are doing just this in New Zealand? Why on earth are we!
Please help by joining our own protest. And read on.
Please note that we do not need even to stress that “from a religious perspective” there are important things to teach our children… Forf rom any perspective of decency, and our duty of care for the most vulnerable is always there.
The staggering, heartless cruelty toward the elderly
A global pandemic doesn’t give us cause to treat the aged callously.
by Rabbi Dr Shai Held
The Atlantic, March 12, 2020.
“Extract (emphasis added)
From a religious perspective, if there is one thing we ought to teach our children, it is that our worth as human beings does not depend on or derive from what we do or accomplish or produce; we are, each of us, infinitely valuable just because we are created in the image of God. We mattered before we were old enough to be economically productive, and we will go on mattering even after we cease to be economically productive.
Varied ethical and religious traditions find their own ways to affirm an elemental truth of human life: The elderly deserve our respect and, when necessary, our protection. The mark of a decent society is that it resists the temptation to spurn the defenseless. It is almost a truism that the moral fabric of a society is best measured by how it treats the vulnerable in its midst — and yet it is a lesson we never seem to tire of forgetting. “You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old,” the Bible says — look out for them and, in the process, become more human yourself.”
© Amy Brooke, Convenor, The 100 Days. See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available through my BOOK Page at www.amybrooke.co.nz, or at Amazon’s Kindle.