Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@ mercatornet.com - See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/family_edge/view/why-commuters-give-up-their-seats-for-the-pregnant/17632#sthash.1wJ32L23.dpuf
FRIDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2016
At 23 weeks pregnant and quite obviously showing, I’ve been experiencing a new phenomenon – people (mostly men) giving up their seats for me on crowded buses.
My first reaction is gratitude, but I must admit that I also feel a bit guilty about the whole thing. But I shouldn't! At least, this is the conclusion I came to one day last week, as I sat and pondered the whole matter in my pregnancy-procured bus seat.
Why, you ask? Well there are the obvious reasons – being pregnant means I’m more easily tired, sick or vulnerable in a public transport situation. But also, because there’s something deeper and more beautiful about someone giving up their seat for a pregnant woman.
In a subconscious way, they are respecting life. Even in such a "culture of death" society, where abortion and assisted suicide are more accepted than ever, there is still this kind of "royal treatment" for a person who is carrying new life. It appears that there is perhaps something intrinsic in all of us which gives us some awe of new life, as well as a desire to protect it.
Also, I’m a stranger to the people who give up their seat to me – so in some small way, I feel like they’re subconsciously showing respect for the women in their lives. Because they’d like to see their wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and friends to be treated in the same way.
It’s a glimmer of hope in a world that sometimes seems unkind. We all have both good and bad in us, but this tiny action reiterates the good. For all I know, the man giving me his seat has done some horrible things in his lifetime - but right now, all I’m privy to is the good!
It makes me think: what would the world be like without Christian culture? Whether you are religious or not, Jesus' "love one another" teachings were revolutionary and really became the backbone of western civilisation. Roman times were a dog-eat-dog world where no one fluttered an eyelash while fellow humans were being fed to lions. Even now in some wild tribes (and some not-so-wild tribes aka any modern city), women are commodified for labour and sexual pleasure. Without Christian values, why should anyone feel that I deserve their seat on the bus?
Perhaps I’m over-reading and overthinking this whole thing. But maybe I’m not, which makes this tiny gesture so much bigger than it seems after all!
At first sight, making proposals for a law that allows euthanasia might seem like a cop-out, complicity in evil and all that. But when your national legislature is going to make such a law, no matter what; when it has been ordered to do so by the Supreme Court (those almighty judges again), there is little you can do short of trying to make the rules as tight as possible.
That is what Margaret Somerville has done in her recent submission to a parliamentary committee on euthanasia, as you can read on our website today. Dr Somerville, who heads the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University in Montreal, is an acknowledged expert in this area and was invited to make a submission to the committee.
As a matter of fact she told them a bit more than they wanted to hear from her – for a start, that she thinks the whole idea is wrong. But her proposals (and they reflect the court’s views), if followed, would do a lot to reduce the risk of a slippery slope developing. It would also protect both the conscience rights of doctors and the safety of people who do not want their death hastened.
I was struck in particular by her point that “a new profession should be established to carry out euthanasia. The practitioners should not be healthcare professionals or, if so, only ones who have permanently retired from practice.” Anyway, read for yourself; sooner or later you may need ideas like this.
|Next, limit the harm: proposals for Canada’s new euthanasia law|
Margaret Somerville | CAREFUL! | 19 February 2016
When legalisation is inevitable its effects must be contained.
|There’s a new addiction on campus: Problematic Internet Use (PIU)|
Wen Li, Jennifer E. O'Brien and Susan M. Snyder | FEATURES | 19 February 2016
A new study measures the impact of internet addiction on family relationships.
|From ‘Physician knows best’ to the cult of autonomy: a seismic shift in bioethics|
Grace Stark | FEATURES | 19 February 2016
How moral norms trump even scientific evidence and technology.
|Privacy crunch: Apple vs. the FBI|
Denyse O'Leary | CONNECTING | 19 February 2016
How much do we value privacy vs. government’s stated desire to protect us?
|Why commuters give up their seats for the pregnant|
Tamara El-Rahi | FAMILY EDGE | 19 February 2016
Small act, deep good.
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