In an unequal world, what can I do?
Peter Morrall (2009) argues that as health care professionals we know about the problems of the world and the issue for health for populations, but not do anything about it is an abrogation of moral responsibility. Morrall and Goodman (2012) challenge the higher education sector to engage in critical thinking to address global issues, but thinking that leads to action.
I always think of action at various levels:
Individual, group, organisation, national and international. You decide what you can do at any level. That may flow though from your increased awareness and learning.
For the UK a good start is the Equality Trust, based on the work of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett in their book ‘The Spirit Level’. The website has excellent resources to raise understanding and awareness: http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk. This gives you the basic information and perhaps ideas about what might be done.
Another good source for information on a global scale is Hans Rosling’s http://www.gapminder.org See also ‘Global Issues’ , Poverty Facts and Stats at http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
and of course the Joseph Rowntree Foundation: http://www.jrf.org.uk
So get yourself informed (consider journals and the quality press such as the Guardian) and then reflect on what you might want to do about it. There are online campaign groups through which you might voice your support such as http://www.compassonline.org.uk , a political movement, or Avaaz http://www.avaaz.org/en/ or consider one of the main political parties to lobby and support…think which ones are focused on equality and poverty as key planks in their work.
Stay sane and keep a sense of humour, learn to laugh at yourself, base positions on facts as well as expressed values, as no one likes an intense preachy ‘right on’ leftie.
Morrall, P. (2009) Sociology and Health. Routledge. London.
Morrall, P. and Goodman, B. (2012) Critical Thinking, Nurse Education and Universities: some thoughts on current issues and implications for nursing practice . Nurse Education Today (in press).