I’ve just finished reading Anne Watts’ biography ‘Always the Children’ (available at The Book Depository for $A4.92, postage free) which tells the story of her life as a nurse working with children through agencies such as the Save the Children Organisation. Much of her story happened quite a long time ago which makes it even sadder that much of the misery she describes still happens today. Some of it is triggered by war but some is the result of cruel tradition, particularly rituals such as female circumcision. She points out that mothers frequently have no choice but to let it happen to their daughters knowing that otherwise they are unmarriageable in countries where women are denied education and careers. This doesn’t explain all of it. In a modern city like Canberra we know it happens but whenever the police try to investigate they face a wall of silence.
As I read about this and the horrific effects of war, particularly on helpless children, I can’t help wondering if we older people, numbering millions already and rising, if we could use our numbers to try to influence the world through the values we hold. Older people are far less belligerent and more law-abiding than younger people. I would like to think that this is because with our experience and wisdom we can see the sense in a world that is more caring.
We are past the days of marching and banner waving, due to frailty and arthritis for many of us, but we are among the rising number of internet users around the world and we could use this to achieve a world in which all individuals, particularly the young and vulnerable, are treated with respect and valued. If each of us decided we would leave the world a better place when it is our time to go through our work in a particular cause we are interested in, with our millions we could make a huge difference.
How could we do this? For those who are more active we can join groups fighting for a better world in whatever field interests us. This can also be done on line by finding relevant groups who are involved in letter writing and media campaigns, find out what they are doing and join them.
Just think what a better world this would be if in our millions we did this. It would also make us feel better about ourselves and the lives we lead. It would give us a purpose in our lives which seems to be the key to successful ageing. When people ask us what we do we could tell them and hopefully recruit others to join whatever campaign interests us. No longer would we be described as boring old farts!