How to Teach Your Kids That Voting Matters — but So Does Compassion

Look, we know. We really know. It’s 2018, and you don’t know what to tell your kids about the actual state of the union anymore. Your Facebook feed is clogged with politics and nasty word wars about immigration and border control. You’re dreading Thanksgiving dinner because it’s pretty much a given Uncle Frank will get drunk and talk about arming preschool teachers and rabbis while your sister and her wife rage-cry into the mashed potatoes. Some mornings, you can’t remember why you thought it was a good idea to bring kids into this world. 

And that’s exactly why your vote matters today more than ever. Take your kids. Slap on an "I Voted" sticker. Just keep caring, OK? Caring is a revolutionary act when you’re slipping into a CNN or Fox News coma and all seems hopeless.

And no matter what your politics are, no matter what your religion is, you can choose to care — actively. Even if you’re feeling like your vote doesn’t count for much, your compassion still does. And there are many ways to help create a world for our children that is kinder and far better than this one. But it takes action — and one simple rule most of us were taught as children: Treat others as you would want to be treated. 

So on this voting day, put yourselves in the shoes of parents who are fleeing appalling, dangerous conditions in Central America. Whatever you feel about immigration, remember the caravan you’ve heard about is made up of families just like you and yours. Like you, these are parents who love their children more than anything. They are trekking hundreds and thousands of miles to try to keep their children safe and out of harm’s way. They are trying to escape poverty, violence, hunger and homelessness and find a better life for their families. 

Will the U.S. grant them asylum? It seems doubtful. But you can help these families. You can choose nonpartisan kindness today. Because kindness isn’t red or blue. 

Make compassion your platform. 

Here’s how:

Educate yourself & your kids 

Read about the caravan and reject xenophobia and fearmongering. Our country is better than that. Our kids deserve better than that.

Donate together 

Here are just a few nonprofit humanitarian organizations offering assistance and care on the frontlines. 

  • Save the Children’s Border Crisis Children’s Relief Fund: This fund provides emergency services and legal aid and works to reunite families.
  • UNICEFThis organization is working with the government of our neighbor Mexico to provide safe drinking and bathing water, hygiene essentials, sunscreen, access to support and much-needed training to authorities on child welfare, protection and nutrition.
  • Amnesty International Americas: Amnesty International is working overtime to document and monitor the situations and devastating conditions the families in the caravan are fighting against.
  • Pueblo Sin Fronteras: This immigrant rights group organized the caravan.

Help your kids call or email your congressperson or senator

If you’re not sure where to start, go to the U.S. House of Representatives website and enter your zip code. Looking for a senator? Just choose your state here. These sites will provide your elected officials’ names and contact information. 

Another route: Identify your reps at Democracy.io, and email with ease.

Voting matters. But compassion might matter even more these days. Make kindness your platform, and you’ll raise kids who care too. 

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It is estimated how many years after quitting Smoking normal health

Quitting Smoking took more than 15 years to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease have returned to the level of those who never smoked. This is indicated by the results of the preliminary research presented recently in Chicago at the Scientific sessions of the American heart Association (American Heart Association).

Previous studies have shown that the risk of cardiovascular disease in smokers is reduced a few years after they quit Smoking. However, previously it was not possible to trace the history of Smoking participants to note changes in the frequency of Smoking or evidence of relapse of Smoking.

In the new study, the researchers analyzed history of Smoking over a lifetime of about 8700 participants of the Framingham study (Framingham Heart Study), whose early studies have not yet been cardiovascular diseases. The average for the participants in the study were followed for 27 years. At the same time, the researchers compared the risk of cardiovascular disease in smokers, non-smokers and ex-smokers.

As a result, the researchers found that:

  • More than 70% of cases of cardiovascular disease in smokers or former smokers was observed in those who smoked a pack a day for 20 years.
  • Former smokers who quit within the past five years, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease fell by 38% compared with those who continued to smoke.
  • Overall it took 16 years from the date of refusal of Smoking to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in former smokers returned to the same level as those who never smoked.

These results emphasize that some benefits of quitting can be seen during the first five years, as 38% reduced risk of heart attack and stroke compared with people who continue to smoke. We also found that the risk of cardiovascular disease remains elevated for 16 years after people quit Smoking compared with people who never smoked. The conclusion of the study is that if you smoke, now is a good time to quit, says Meredith Duncan, (Meredith Duncan), author of the study from the Medical center of Vanderbilt University (Vanderbilt University Medical Center) in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dmitry Kolesnik