Thursday, October 1, 2009

Warning: going political

No....not political... humanitarian.

As an avid reader of, I'm always up to date with the latest news. Lately, I've also started to include some NPR and talks with Spaghetti (my grandmother) to my current events knowledge. While I'm for a public healthcare option, I can understand that not everybody has the same sentiment. A public option is reminiscent of socialism, and dammit, we're a democracy. I understand. I understand that public-option opponents may be scared of helping those who refuse to help themselves. I understand that there are those concerned that a public option will increase the cost, or lower the standards of their own healthcare. Despite being a by-the-book democrat, I get these concerns.

What I can't get over, however, is that the end result of all our fears lead to people dying. People that could have easily been treated are dying because they are less fortunate than people like myself. At the end of the day, that is the result, and I can't get over that.

And the scary thing is, this mentality... the look out for yourself and your own interests, is carrying over to every aspect of our lives. I have to ask, what happened to the idea that you're only as strong as your weakest link? I honestly think it's pitiful that, for the most part, a majority of us can't look at the big picture. America is the sum of her parts, and when we don't care for all of our parts, we're just running like a squeaky, broken-down machine. We're all better than that!

This mentality that I speak of (which inspired this soap-box rant) is especially evident in morgues in Detroit and even in LA. I read an article on CNN that tells about bodies piling up in a Detroit morgue because family members can't scrape together the exorbitant amount for a funeral or for cremation. The deceased just "hang-out" in the morgue's freezer because they have nowhere else to go. Picture that a loved one has just passed away. Think of the grief and hardship you will go through, emotionally. Now imagine that you are unable to even claim your loved one and give him a proper burial. As sorrowful as the thought may be, that's many people's realities.

Let me just reiterate, that I completely understand and up until this summer have declared myself economically conservative. But where is the compassion and the humanity? How can I, with so much, NOT care for a fellow-human being who can't afford to bury his mother? It is situations like these that call out to us as humans. Not as democrats or republicans. Not as the rich or poor. Not as white, black, asian, or whatever. This story should affect us as humanitarians. Our hearts should go out to the people who cannot afford to bury their loved-ones, and as a society we need to be inclined to help those who are suffering, in whatever way possible.

The point of this rant, and yes, I'll agree that's what it is, is not to change your mind on healthcare, or any number of other political beliefs. It is, however, to remind you that you are human, and we are a community. We live together in a society that will flourish if everybody looks out for each other. To quote wise Jack from Lost.... "Live together, or die alone." I urge everybody to stop and think how they can contribute to society that has given them so much- from National Parks, to public schooling, to public hospitals. Stop and think what you're talented at, and then see what you can do to share that for the betterment of others. If we all did that, wouldn't the world be a much better place?

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