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.

-Edmund Burke

The greatest gift every girl can have is economic independence.

-Helen Mirren


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.

  • The 2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) showed that 60% of Americans had at least one chronic medical condition, and 42% had multiple chronic conditions

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.

  • In 2019, 20.6% of adults had a mental illness, including 5.2% with a serious mental illness

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].

  • In 2019, 10.5% of Americans were living in poverty

  • 8.0% did not have health insurance at any point in the year

Did you enjoy this chapter? Read the full book. Download your free copy: EPUB MOBI PDF

Copyright © by Raven Dojo Inc.

Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty