Remembrance Day Lesson:

…Consider the Effects of War on Men’s [and Social] Health
(c) 2017, Davd

The first poppy i bought this year fell off my jacket on the second or third day i wore it. This wasn’t the first year that happened, nor the second, nor the third year. Surely by now, 99 years and a few days after the Great Armistice, the people who want us to wear those red fabric poppies could have figured out a way to keep them from falling off our clothing.

I found one somebody else had lost, on the ground, and put it on my jacket with a safety pin.

Squads of small children, adolescents and adults, positioned themselves in front of the busiest stores (and busiest public buildings generally) to make sure everyone must either make a donation and pin a poppy on their jackets, or look disrespectful of the self-sacrifice of many thousands of soldiers.

In the week before Remembrance Day, the images of soldiers, mostly men, saluting, marching, sometimes even fighting, may actually take up more newspaper space than advertising of things for sale.

The point of the ceremonies, the big advertisements, was to honour soldiers, especially those who died in war. Most of those soldiers were men. This day when men much more than women were honoured — it was for suffering and dying. What troubles me about that, is not that so few women suffered and died, but that suffering and dying — and killing and imposing suffering in obedience to orders — were treated as rightful ways for men to contribute to social good.

I am troubled that i heard so very little resolve to prevent millions more men from suffering and dying in future. At least after the Titanic sank, there were new rules requiring more lifeboat capacity.

More than greater risk and pain for women, we need reduced risk and pain for men.

November, spelled Movember after an Australian slang word for moustache, is supposed to be the month for men especially, and for everyone, to give thought and effort in support of men’s health. Remembrance Day reminds us all too clearly, that war is worse for men’s health even than alcoholic drink, cannabis, cigarettes1 (and sexual promiscuity.)

World peace would do more for men’s health than any medication, any surgical procedure, even more than the elimination of junk food and TV.

– – – – – Notes – – – – –

1. Caffeine in moderation can be good for men’s (and women’s) health; many say that alcoholic drink and cannabis can also.


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About Davd

Davd (PhD, 1966) has been a professor, a single father keeping a small commercial herb garden so as to have flexible time for his sons, and editor of _Ecoforestry_. He is a practicing Christian, and in particular an advocate of ecoforestry, self-sufficiency horticulture, and men of all faiths living together "in peace and brotherhood" for the fellowship, the efficiency, and the goodwill that sharing work so often brings.
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