First of all, I’d like to say a massive Thank You to everyone who took part. Whether you completed the survey yourself, passed it on to friends, tweeted about it or offered a suggestion for one of the questions – I couldn’t have done this without you!
So, who were the ten who took part…? No-one gave their age or location in the end (well, it was optional… Perhaps I’ll include some demographic questions next time) but I did receive seven images! I had asked for ‘something that represents you, but is not of you.’ I was not disappointed. Here they are (mine is among them. See if you can guess which it is)
And now…. The results!
The first question was: ‘If you were paid a comfortable amount to do whatever you wanted, what would you do with your life?’
30% said that they are already doing what they want for a living. The rest believe it will be possible to do they want at some point in the future.
Writing was a popular choice – perhaps not surprising, as at least half of those who responded write in some form or another. Doing anything that allows for more time – to travel and spend time with family – also rated highly. One person said, ‘Collect original works of art, especially sculpture.’ I’d love to know who that was!
I found these results massively reassuring – if three in ten people from a (fairly) random sample are doing what they want already, then there is hope for the rest of us! Um, I think I’ve just given away my answer there…
When asked how they felt about religion, half of those who took part ticked the ‘I’m not sure’ option. While the overall feel was that it’s a good thing, two of those who responded feel that it is ‘a tool to control societies‘ and one said ‘It separates us as human beings living on one planet.’
This question gave the option of placing yourself on a scale from right to left. 40% described themselves as liberal, with the 50% placed themselves on the left – to varying degrees and just one person placed themselves *just* right of centre.
Two people admitted to not using their vote
– One because they ‘don’t see the point’ and the other feels
guilty about it. There was just one comment left in this section:
‘I just think it’s a massive privilege and I wouldn’t dream of not voting no matter who the candidates were.’
Everyone else used their vote – most of the time
(40% always vote, 40% only sometimes)
A question about the death penalty saw an evenly split response, with 60% saying they do not beleive in it. Comments varied massively with many saying that they would be afraid of a miscarriage of justice. However, the comment I found the most interesting came from someone based in a country that does have the death penalty. This person said:‘There is a death penalty here and it’s been used just once. I think that’s about right.’
People and animals
How do you feel about animal testing?
A fairly mixed response to this question but the comments proved more revealing, with one person pointing out that ‘its more about how the animals are treated than the testing itself.’ Only one person said that they didn’t care about the animals.
Despite this, if it came down to the choice of killing an animal to save a loved one – 100% of those who took part said they would do so.
These responses left me wondering if anyone made the connection between the two questions…
Friends and Family
The ten people were asked: If someone you loved was in pain and asked you to help them end their life, would you do it?
This was always going to be a tough one. 80% said ‘It depends.’
Comments included: ‘I don’t think you can truly answer until you’re faced with it in reality, with the person looking at you and asking….’
‘I don’t know if I’d have it in me’
‘Not just about pain but about quality of life. Indignity can be just as hard to bear. Pain can be controlled.’
When asked whether they had ‘ever done something – to another person – that they now regret, a massive 80% said ‘Yes,’ with one saying they regret that they have taken their anger out on others. Only one gave details of a painful regret that he or she still carries with them even though it wasn’t their fault. Most chose not to reveal their regrets, with one person saying, ‘Oh yes, many things… There’s no point in looking back now but if I had my time again I’d do things differently. I think I regret more the things I haven’t said/done than the things I have, though.’
Personally, I don’t mind sharing that I echo that last sentence. I am pretty sure that when my time comes, it’s the things I haven’t said or done that would haunt me, not those I have.
I found the survey results eye opening, especially as I know almost half of those who took part quite well. Some of the results were not so surprising – I expected most of those who responded to place themselves more to the left on the politics question. However, although I like to think I keep an open mind, some of the more detailed comments really made me think, and will continue to sit with me for a while no doubt. I now have more questions I want to ask so there may well be a follow up to this at some point in the future!