Be kind, everyone is fighting a hard battle
Reverend John Watson was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland. In 1897, he wrote: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
As a medical doctor, I’ve observed that many people are suffering. But you would never guess because they put on a brave front. When I feel impatient, I remind myself that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.
Consider these heartbreaking statistics for the United States:
1 in 2 women are sexually assaulted or raped in their lifetime
4 in 10 people suffer from multiple chronic diseases
1 in 5 have a mental illness
11% of girls and 2% of boys are sexually abused by an adult
1 in 10 Americans are living in poverty
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
The greatest gift every girl can have is economic independence.
Waechter R, Ma V. (2015). Sexual violence in America: Public funding and social priority. Am J Public Health. 105(12): 2430–2437.
In 2011, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) interviewed 12,727 adults (54% were women)
19.3% of women had been raped at least once in their lives, including completed and attempted forced penetration (40.4% of rapes occurred before age 18)
43.9% of women experienced at least one episode of sexual violence other than rape at some point in their lives (5.5% reported an episode in the past 12 months)
Buttorff C, Ruder T, Bauman M. (2017). Multiple chronic conditions in the United States. RAND Corporation. Document No. TL-221-PFCD.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. HHS Publication No. PEP20-07-01-001, NSDUH Series H-55.
Finkelhor D et al. (2014). The lifetime prevalence of child sexual abuse and sexual assault assessed in late adolescence. J Adolesc Health. 55(3): 329–333.
In the United States, surveys of 2,293 adolescents from 2003 to 2011 found that lifetime prevalence of 17-year-olds with sexual abuse and sexual assault at the hands of adult perpetrators was 11.2% for girls and 1.9% for boys
U.S. Census Bureau. (2020, September 15). Income, poverty and health insurance coverage in the United States: 2019 [Press release]. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2020/income-poverty.html
In 2019, 10.5% of Americans were living in poverty
8.0% did not have health insurance at any point in the year
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