It is time for everyone to take a breath and pause on the healthcare issue. We need to get out of our “positions” and find a place to begin to think anew. Can we find a way to leave politics, power and money out of it? It is time to admit the truth about what we want for ourselves and our own care, and admit the truth about what we want for our neighbor’s care.
The healthcare issue, on the outside, looks like a national issue. At its core, though, it is a very personal issue. It is triggering many value systems within each of us. Our beliefs and comfort about generosity, right speech, nationalism, and ethics, to name a few, are being tested. As Americans, we are being called to look at our value systems individually and make a stand on them nationally.
Why is the healthcare debate so painful? Why is it causing so much suffering?
In her book “Loving What Is”, Byron Katie explains why we suffer. She says we suffer because we are arguing with “what is”. How does this apply to the healthcare issue?
To look at the reality of “what is” about healthcare, we have to go below the surface of the issue. What is the bottom line reality?
• We all have human bodies.
• Our bodies get hurt and become sick
• We need care when we get hurt and become sick
• We want our bodies to be healthy
• We want our loved ones’ bodies to be healthy
• Human beings take care of each other
Can anyone argue with the reality of these fundamental truths? What would happen if we came towards healthcare from the point o view of “what is”? Where are we arguing with reality? In broad terms, it is money and politics. Breaking that down even further, we realize it is greed and ignorance combined with a very large dose of fear.
What does fear have to do with health care? What are we afraid of? It is easy to point out all the other national issues that have been thrown into the healthcare debate; immigration, national debt, rising medical costs, the list goes on and on. Our political parties are having a feast on the energy of this arguing and the pitch is getting higher as we move towards the November elections. What do politics and money have to do with the reality that our human bodies get sick and need care? They are nothing more than a buffer from the thing we are most afraid of; loving each other and caring for one another. Every thought we have that denies the reality of the vulnerability in loving one another is causing suffering. We are suffering because we don’t want to look. If we looked, we would have to deal with the truth of what not having healthcare means. We would then have to take action. Each step leads to the next. But, we are afraid.
Can we come from the ‘we love and care for one another’ reality to solve the healthcare problem? I believe we can. How different would that look from what we are presently doing? What if the question is ‘how can I care for you?’ instead of ‘how do I get your vote?’ What if the question is ‘how can I care for you?’ instead of ‘do you belong in my country?’ What if the question is ‘how can I care for you?’ instead of ‘how much money do you have?’
In a nation where there is ample money for all kinds of spending, we are losing our homes, living in sickness and dying without care because we argue with ‘what is’. The most fundamental “what is”, is that what happens to you, my beloved brother, happens to me….
It’s called a practice….
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