Taking good care of each other

pass the dice!
Inuit Elders and family members at an afternoon gathering with traditional games and food (Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, Canada)

Last week the Paul Schiller Foundation published the report “Gute Betreuung im Alter – Perspektiven für die Schweiz” (‘Good Care in Old Age – Perspectives for Switzerland’). It shows the need for action in health and social policy for high quality and affordable care for the ageing.

A few weeks before I noticed an article in a regional news paper about the enormous value of volunteer work in Switzerland, an estimated CHF 35 billion. “The majority of informal volunteer work in 2014 is attributable to personal help and care… Personal assistance is the main occupation of informal volunteerism within family networks” (own translation from Freiwilligen-Monitor Schweiz 2016). I considered it to be a joke Continue reading “Taking good care of each other”

Gute Betreuung im Alter

pass the dice!
Inuit Älteste und Angehörige beim Altersnachmittag mit traditionellen Spielen und Speisen (Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, Kanada)

Letzte Woche hat die Paul Schiller Stiftung den Bericht “Gute Betreuung im Alter – Perspektiven für die Schweiz” veröffentlicht. Darin geht es in erster Linie darum, den gesundheits- und sozialpolitischen Handlungsbedarf für eine qualitätsvolle und bezahlbare Betreuung im Alter aufzuzeigen.

Schon vor einigen Wochen habe ich in einer regionalen Tageszeitung gesehen, welche enormen Kosten sich verstecken in der Freiwilligenarbeit, nämlich hochgerechnete 35 Mia CHF. “So entfällt auch im Jahr 2014 der grösste Teil informeller Freiwilligenarbeit auf persönliche Hilfe- und Betreuungsleistungen… Persönliche Hilfeleistungen machen gerade im Verwandtenkreis einen wesentlichen Teil informell freiwilliger Tätigkeiten aus” (Freiwilligen-Monitor Schweiz 2016). Ein absoluter Witz Continue reading “Gute Betreuung im Alter”

Daily Random Act of Kindness #5

Viva el Caribe!

I purchased oil and vinegar in one of the supermarket-like grocery stores in Kensington that clearly markets to the Caribbean immigrant community. I was standing out like a streetlight, not only by appearance, but also by language.

It was a busy store, or maybe just a busy time of the day. Couples and multi-generational teams were filling up grocery carts with exotic fruit and vegetables, with dry goods, cans, and fresh meat.

When I got to the lines at the check-out, the other customers took pity on me: They asked me first, and then they insisted, that I go right to the front of the line with my two small items for purchase.

I had all the time in the world to wait my turn like everybody else since I was simply out exploring the neighbourhood; but it was of little avail to explain that to the crowd that was discussing the case in multiple languages and came to the consensus that I should go first.

I expressed my gratitude for the gesture. It made me feel special, it made me feel welcome, and it gave me a sense of genuine community spirit.

Viva el Caribe!

Sharing the Root - Painting by Tenyoh (photo credit: Yoko Sugawara)
Sharing the Root – Painting by Tenyoh (photo credit: Yoko Sugawara)

To learn more about Tenyoh’s art work, please visit: Empathetic Reflections of Human Nature through the Eyes of a Nurse

Experiments in living – to govern or not to govern

Experiments in living – multicultural lichen colony with a funny face on Boothia Peninsula, Nunavut.

Today, I got drawn into an online conversation. It started with the following blog entry: Experiments in Living and its subsequent exchange of replies that eventually touched on the issue of need and structure of government. From the exchange I got the sense that government seems to be categorically opposite to the notion of liberty, as well as that certain national governments are being viewed as completely separate from and in opposition to the population. For me the latter seems peculiar and indicates a fundamental flaw of existing government structures. I have posted earlier some of my own thoughts about governance under the heading leadership and power – not authoritarian rule and legalized force.


Here I will share with you my reply to the above-mentioned online dialogue:

Dear Malcolm,

I am not sure if smaller government is my preferred vision in general.

Continue reading “Experiments in living – to govern or not to govern”