Friday, April 26, 2013

show your mettle (metal) : limb loss awareness

In the United States, we aren’t accustomed to seeing blown off body parts lying around the street.  Then we saw the coverage of the bombing in Boston.

While mercifully only three lives were lost – three too many – nearly 300 people were injured in the blasts. As 26 April, at least 14 of those injured – or 5% -  have had limb amputations as a result of their injuries. So far.

That’s almost the same percentage of total Americans who currently live with limb loss. In a country with nearly 314 million people, over 2 million people – roughly 6% - have had an amputation of some sort.

The Amputation Coalition is celebrating April as Limb Loss Awareness month, and have designated April 27th as Show Your Mettle Day. This is an occasion when all amputees are encouraged not to hide their prostheses, but to proudly reveal their courage to the world.
Amputees like war fighters, diabetes survivors, accident victims, my mom….

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"my" child or "ours"?

I believe we as members of a society have certain responsibilities to each other. I believe everyone should have access to the basics: nourishment, shelter, education, medical care.

I also believe everyone has an obligation to contribute to our society to make these basics available. Some of us bear more financial obligation than others – “to whom much is entrusted, much is required” – but everyone has a responsibility.

Our contributions aren’t just financial.  We all contribute to our society, either for good or for ill, through pretty much everything we do. This includes our chosen field of work, our attitude and level of courtesy in public, whether we pick up after our pets or flip the driver who cut us off, whether we engage in criminal activity, how we raise our kids….

Excuse me, did I say “our” kids?