I believe that women have the fate of the Earth in the palm of their hands. Some 53 per cent of us are women and we really are pretty wimpish. We don’t step up to the plate – and it’s time we took over. I think men have had their turn and we’re in a profound mess.
I believe that money is the root of all evil. When people start believing that materialism will produce ultimate, lasting happiness, it is a sure sign that they will be intensely unhappy. One third of Americans are on anti-depressants. Instead, what they should be doing is lifting their souls, not their faces.
I believe in the sanctity of nature. I believe we can save the planet. We are smart enough to do that, but we must act with a sense of dire emergency.
I believe that the media are controlling and determining the face of the Earth. As Thomas Jefferson said, an informed democracy will behave in a responsible fashion.
I believe in the beauty of classical music. I must have it; it feeds my soul.
I believe in the goodness in every person’s soul even though it’s sometimes hard to see. I treat a lot of patients where either their children are dying or they are dying. Even though sometimes it’s heavily obscured, in extremes this goodness will emerge.
I don’t believe in a god. I have helped many people to die and believe that it’s ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
I believe that heaven and hell are present every day.
I believe that life is an absolute gift to be treasured accordingly. We are very privileged to even have been conceived.
I believe that we are here to serve. We are not here to make ourselves happy, to be self-indulgent or to be hedonistic. The happiest state that I achieve is when I work in my clinic helping my children with cystic fibrosis to face death and help to treat them and look after their siblings. I’m utterly exhausted at the end of the day, but deeply, deeply fulfilled.
I believe in the beauty of my garden. I’ve got two and a half acres and I’m never more in touch with the power of the universe than when I’m in my garden on a warm, sunny day tending to my flowers and my trees, with the pelicans circling overhead.
I believe that there are far too many people on the planet. In the year 1900 there were one billion of us in the world. Now there are 6.5 billion and the predictions are that within a few decades there will be 14 billion.
I believe that the greatest terror in the world is not a few terrorists hitting the World Trade Center. It’s the fact that half the world’s people still live in dire poverty and 30,000 to 40,000 children die every day from malnutrition and starvation, while the rich nations continue to get richer and richer.
I believe that the most important job in the world is parenting. Women need to be financially supported for it. Their job is far more important than that of chief executive officers at the head of huge corporations.
I believe the secret of happiness is a) serving our fellow human beings and loving and caring for everyone. I don’t mean crappy Californian love; I mean really deep caring for each other; b) to understand our own psychology in a profound way, so we can be a more constructive human being; and c) to care for this incredible planet of ours.
Helen Caldicott, a pediatrician, is president of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute and author of Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer (The New Press). She lives near Sydney, Australia.
Originally published by The Independent UK