HAS SOCIETY ALWAYS BEEN DISPOSABLE?
By Vincent Lyn
A Disposable Society is Only Fit for Disposable People
Francis frequently speaks about a “throwaway culture” in which unwanted items and unwanted people, such as the unborn, the elderly, and the poor, are discarded as waste.… Francis stated that in a throwaway culture, even human lives are seen as disposable.
Today I was at the Humane Society and noticed quite a number of bunny rabbits that weren't there a week ago. Nothing really out of the ordinary except the fact that their owners got tired of the pet bunnies and palmed them off on the Humane Society . Maybe they were moving and couldn't take it with them, maybe they got frustrated from cleaning the cage and maybe they just got bored with it. Either way it made me think how easy we dispose of things, material things, our pets, living things and humans are no different. When we've had enough of our parents or in laws we can cart them off to an assisted living facility or worse just leave them to fend for themselves.
Governments today including the US maintain the right to take all of their young humans in a certain age range, hand them guns, and send them off to war. China insists that Taiwan is part of “Mother China,” yet is willing to sacrifice many mainland Chinese and Taiwanese lives to prove that point. And countries that DON'T like each other are even more willing to kill each other, such as India vs Pakistan, Turks vs Armenians, Iran vs Israel, etc.
Humans are doomed to die from the moment they're born (or even earlier), and truth be told, there isn't all that much hand wringing about things that will shorten those lives. Why are cigarettes and vaping still legal? Why do we produce cars that can go 200 mph? Why do people jump out of perfectly good airplanes for fun (skydiving)?
Look at divorce. People marry. People divorce. Their spouse remarries. And there is someone else who comes to take his or her place. In some cases, he or she comes to parent the children. Now you see him, now you don' t. There seems to be this space — husband, father, whatever — that can be filled by a variety of candidates. Perhaps not in the same way, but still… filled. What is the message to our children? He was your Daddy. But he can be your Daddy, too.
If Daddies are replaceable, is the same true of the children? In a disposable, replaceable world, do we need ponder too long why kids sometimes wonder if their lives are worth anything? Why we sometimes wonder the same?
But, when we lose someone in our life there is a dilemma. On the one hand we are to mourn. On the other, we are to carry on with our lives. And, in today’s modern world, it seems that the faster and fuller we do this, the healthier we are. Rarely, today, do we see a widow or widower whose loss is worn constantly on his sleeve except possibly my father. Whose grief becomes an indelible look in the eyes and tension on the face. And even though someone may have once been the “love of my life,” in today’s world it seems that after loss we are encouraged to pick ourselves up and begin a new life. But if one creates a new life can’t one also then have a new “love of my life”? New life; new love. Disposable life; replaceable love.
Current human life expectancy is roughly 80 years on average. There is evidence that humans were living into their 100s as far back as the 1400 & 1500s. Believe it or not over the last 3 years human life expectancy has decreased for the first time ever. More people are living unhealthier lives than ever before.
The problem isn’t the modern advancements themselves but instead the public perception of these advancements. The current climate of healthcare advancements has given us a false sense of security, making most of us think that no matter how poorly we treat ourselves modern medicine and surgery will be there to fix us. Some of us even become frustrated at our own bodies for “failing us” even though most if not all chronic diseases can be prevented if healthy lifestyle changes are made early enough.
Maybe it’s the result of our overly consumerist minds these days. We live in a world where most products can be replaced by newer, better versions at a price that is cheaper than it would be to repair it. Spending time taking care of possessions to assure you get the most out of them, maintaining their current level of production, and preventing the wearing down or breaking is a thing of the past. If newer, better models are available at a reasonable price, so be it…right? This mindset can’t be further from the truth, especially for your health, and is a dangerous one to live by.
Let’s get one thing straight. Yes, there are more people on the planet than ever before but we are not healthier, we are not living longer, we are not in less pain, and people are not happier than any generation of humans before. Modern medicine is not a fail safe fix that can be relied on for, “when you get older”. Most patients after surgery, or after getting on daily medications for the rest of their lives, are not living happier and healthier lives. A good surgeon will even tell you that the success of their surgery is only as good as the work put in by the patient pre and post surgery. What this means is that everyone needs be more accountable for their own health. Stop viewing modern medical advancements as the “reset switch” they have become known for. Your happiness & good health in your later years are directly proportional to the care you take of yourself over the course of your life.
CEO/Founder at We Can Save Children
Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization
Economic & Social Council at United Nations
Editor-in-Chief at Wall Street News Agency
Rescue & Recovery Specialist at International Confederation of Police & Security Experts