The official looking passenger aboard the vessel entering the harbor at Callao carried under his arm a royal document given into his care by the authority of the ‘Holy Office’. ‘The Holy Office’ I am referring to is also known as ‘The Spanish Inquisition.’
As the vessel dropped anchor and came to a stop the flag designed in the colors of Philip 11, King of Spain ceased to announce its’ ownership. For a short while, the horror and terror about to befall the local inhabitants remained in the visitor’s portfolio.
The visitor’s name is Servan de Cerezuela and the document he is about to present and enforce upon the inhabitants is a campaign of heartless domination and intimidation that has reigned throughout the so-called “Christian” lands since the 13th Century. During those dark and fearful days no-one dared to discuss, question or disagree with the Church. I shudder to think of the torture I and others would have undergone at their hands. Whether one agrees with the motives and methods of The Inquisition or not it remains a cornerstone of the original legal codes upon which modern society is founded.
The author Heinrich Heine wrote, “Where they burn books, they will burn human beings too.”
As late as 1908, this same said Inquisition operated under the title The Sacred Congregation of the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition. Today, year 2022 it is referred to as The Congregation For The Doctrine Of Faith. The activities of this group reflect the attitudes and prejudices of tribunals that existed eight hundred years ago. Recently, there were official transcripts of interrogations conducted at Guantanamo released for public viewing. It was reported that they resembled the interrogations of the Inquisition. Even the guides and advice manuals given to the Intelligence Agencies and Police Departments were almost identical.
What remains controversial are the questions concerning the numbers who were ordered to their deaths by the Inquisition.
Do you need to know why a certain product or company is so successful? Conduct a survey.
Surveys satisfy curiosity. After collecting hundreds or thousands of opinions, an intelligent well informed decision can be made. Governments and Boards of Directors are examples of that fact.
Acceptance is manifest when the neighborhood elite toast your wares and voice your choices. Security is guaranteed as you modestly adopt trends and cultivate public sentiments. As you look ahead to the future you see a marriage with career advancement; perhaps some controlling interests in the business community and even a place in politics. Some would just advise you ‘ go with the flow ‘.
Surveys indicate what attitude wins the race, gets the contract, marries the heiress, finds the cure, earns the vote. They form the shield behind which a warrior plans the next move. Before a campaign, an opponent’s strategy, his/her strengths and weaknesses can be learned through carefully designed surveys. Nine times out of ten the informed participant is the winner.
Not everyone lives their life within the confines of Public Opinion but as of today 84% do. It is believed by most of the Western World that data openly available is to be trusted before that which is hidden or secretive. Wildly held truths are to be followed before ancient so called wisdom. The slogan ” majority wins ” was never meant to be a ” here today, gone tomorrow ” ideal. It was and is an ideal held by millions.
In conclusion, it is not known if a survey is needed before deciding on who to love. Many still believe that is possible to fall in love at first sight. On the other hand there are those who firmly believe it is a question only a fortune teller can answer.
The first 20+ years of the 21st century have elapsed with no end to the persecution and bloodshed that have forced people to run for their lives, abandon their home and even surrender the idea of ever having a home.
The number living in refugee camps and temporary shelters is in the millions. Death awaits them should they return to their country. They hope each night that their dreams come true; dreams of a new home and freedom. They pray that they will awaken to a life of peace, equality, and prosperity; a life with cleanliness, work and laughter.
It was at the end of year 1950 when UNHCR was established for the goal of assisting Europeans displaced by World War 11. This newly formed agency would exist to provide help for three years and then disband. Instead, in the summer of 1951, the UN adopted a basic statute known as the Status of Refugees which has been working ever since to provide care for any and all fleeing persecution and conflict. To date, the number needing assistance fluctuates between 40 to 50 million; an almost deafening outcry from suffering mankind.
Headquarters for the UNHCR is in Geneva. More than 75% of the staff workers are active in the field. The largest areas of intense activity are Asia and Africa including places of ever present danger such as Afghanistan, Republic of the Congo, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Columbia. The relief work being done daily, round the clock ( the education, health care, infrastructure rebuilds, and the provision of basic necessities like food, water and sanitation ) would never be accomplished were it not for mankind’s abilities to achieve co-operation on an international stage.
What though for the suffering and hardship surrounding those who are left to survive the natural disasters; the floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, mudslides, sinkholes, and tsunamis?
It was alarming to discover that there were no existing international refugee laws addressing the specific situations of such people beyond insurance. Nor were there laws in place to guide and assist the growing number of victims created by climate change; the drought, the rising sea levels, irreversible changes in major ecosystems and so much more we know little about and fear more and more.
An advancing number of today’s intelligent and influential people in the know as well as a number of outspoken thinkers center stage are ending their discussions and discourses concerning the future with a similar refrain, that refrain being, ” God only knows.”.
I hope there are others who will avail themselves of the knowledge already given.
In the words of Mary Adelaide Nutting (the first professor of nursing), “Nursing is one of the most difficult of arts. Compassion may provide the motive, but knowledge is our only working power.”
If you stop to think about it, there have been those who nursed the sick for thousands of years. Two that come easily to mind are Elizabeth of Hungary, daughter of King Andrew the Second who organized food for the populace during the famine of 1226; arranged for the construction of hospitals to care for lepers and cared for the sick until her death at the age of 24 and Florence Nightingale, who with the help of 38 other nurses reorganized the military hospital during the Crimean War in 1853-1856. Nurse Nightingale turned down many offers of marriage choosing instead to devote her time to studies in health and caring for the poor.
Not only does nursing require compassion and unselfishness, it demands extensive training and experience to truly become a proficient nurse. Popular belief is that the doctors heal but it is the nurses who perform the day to day caring of a patient. Often nurses are called upon by patients to be the mothers and wives who cannot be there. Nurses are expected to widen their sphere of professional knowledge and that requires an ever present desire to study. Lives are at stake and nurses need to make speedy judgments when needed. Qualities like tolerance and flexibility are invaluable in a nurse. Without the ability to remain open-minded, it is difficult to get on well with colleagues and assimilate new skills and hospital routines. Having an opened mind is why most nurses are personable and approachable.
Needless to say, medicine and healthcare would not exist without them. A doctor has not the time to put a band-aid on your child’s cut, take your husband’s blood pressure or comfort you while timing your contractions. All simple tasks but someone has to do them in hospital and it will not be an orderly and it will not be a doctor.
Whether giving medication or drawing blood or inserting an intravenous device nurses are called upon to exercise extreme care. They cannot afford to make any mistakes, especially in countries where litigation is common. It is not unusual for nurses to find themselves at odds with the attending doctor. Courage, tact, and diplomacy allow nurses the voice to alert the establishment when doctors are at fault. Nurses are legally responsible for any medications that they administer or treatments that they are ordered to perform. They are libel for any harm that may result while a patient is in their care. Being diligent and conscientious saves lives. Nurses want to give the best of their knowledge.
Nursing is not what it was in 1226 or what it was in the 1800s. Nor does it resemble what it was 50 years ago. There exists now a number of factors contributing to the stress nurses face each day that were not so prevalent back then. One stress factor is violence on the job. Nurses are more likely to experience violent attacks while at work than prison guards. At last look, 72% of nurses surveyed felt vulnerable. unsafe and at risk of assault in their working environment. Are drugs to blame? Is alcohol behind the violence? Or perhaps grief? No one has the answer and the questions are not raised that often.
A second stress factor is burnout. How often do we read of staff shortages? Nurses that are forced to work overtime; nurses that need to skip breaks or rush meals; nurses that are made to survive on low wages; become nurses that cannot give adequate care. If made to work under such frustrating circumstances, nurses suffer burnout. Burnout includes depression, anger and pain.
A final stress factor is watching patients die. “Continuously giving of time, care and sympathy drains a person,” says an older Egyptian nurse who watched 30 of the terminal patients she cared for die over ten years.
Although technology is highly valued by the medical field worldwide, it can never replace the compassion of a nurse. Machines are not capable of empathy. As this pandemic shows many nurses will go above and beyond the call of duty. As a person lays dying it is not a machine that is wanted rather a nurse is called upon to help meet death with as little distress and discomfort as possible. Nursing is here to stay until disease is eradicated forever.
Chance has it, that most citizens in the Western world, if asked, would claim to be free. However, in a large number of cities and towns freedom is an illusion.
Ask yourself, ask your children if their freedom includes walking down any street after dark, or through a park alone. In most democratic countries the majority of citizens fear their neighborhoods at night. They keep their homes and businesses locked until daybreak. Fear is a dominant factor in the lives of many; while assault is considered as a normal everyday risk. It is not unusual for today’s householder to feel terrified in their own home even when said dwelling is protected by dogs, searchlights & alarms.
Not that long ago, in New York City, a group of twenty youngsters invaded a high school while classes were in session. The invaders lost no time on talk, instead quickly tied two teachers to their chairs, taped shut their mouths then bombarded the lot of them with political slogans.
As early as 1969, it was reported in a popular magazine: “People are more afraid. Small-town residents hesitate to visit the big cities.” Crime and violence rule. Students are plagued by disorders, education denied, protests and riots. Teachers are attacked and begin carrying their guns to school.
Freedom is also missing from the economic arena where the mood is one of desperation bordering on hysteria. How many are those working at jobs that bring the worker genuine satisfaction? Few are those earning top dollar. Everywhere are skilled laborers denied employment because of policies and unions. Money is scarce and of little worth. Groceries are expensive. We continue to pay for bottled water. We are no longer free to breathe clean air.
Freedom does not mean that there are no laws by which we are to live. The universe itself remains ordered by way of law. Nor are we made uncomfortable by gravity . Then again if we jump from a high building death or severe injury awaits us.
The philosopher asks, “Is man not created a free moral agent?” “Will obedience to law lead us to the highest form of freedom?” ” Should a person interested in what is right choose doing right and try to correct wrong?”