I started this blog process as one means to find what was hopefully a more healthy outlet for the increasing angst I have been building up given the state of the country today. To be honest, as an outlet there seems to be some catharsis going on as my wife has noticed somewhat of a change in my mood (to the positive). I’m a bit less intense and she has even commented that I’m not going out into public and coming home without recounting some jerk in the store, on the road, etc., etc. I’ll see that as a good thing but have to wonder if there is really a change or if I just happen to have hit a dry spell of idiots. As I don’t believe in miracles, I’ll guess it is more the latter. But in any case, we’ll take any improvement for most any reason.
But being a thinking person (at least I’d like to think so) and one whose mind doesn’t really ever seem to shut down, I decided to look at this a little closer. As I read back thru my blog posts, I can see why it could be happening as I’ve taken this outlet as an opportunity to pretty much lash out at what I see as the crux of much of the issues I see out there. I’m not talking about world peace or curing cancer but more the issues that are more germane to our daily lives (not diminishing the impact of cancer by any means). The issue is really people. I know that much of my frustration is the result of my inability to change or influence others so as the next best thing I’ve pretty much gone after those that epitomize the people I view as representative of the problems and they just happen to be sitting in the realm of politics at the moment. By this time, if you’ve read any number of my posts, you should see a pattern that somewhat defines a part of me. This has been an entertaining means to find ways to ridicule and mock those whose apparent life choices are that different from mine. In some sense, paraphrasing a “Limbaughism”, I’ve started to act like them and have dropped to their level. I have become personal and demeaning in my observations. That disturbs me on some level as I’d like to think I am above that approach. But at the same time, as I think it through, I can see there are some differences between me and “them”. That view is partly attributable to my phenomenally well-tuned and well-exercised power of rationalization and I expect that anyone reading this any further could likely see that same defense mechanism in play with any explanation that might follow. I also can’t lose sight of the fact that this is somewhat enjoyable – again somewhat disturbing on the personal level but no so much that I plan to stop.
We all think we have it figured out and that our view is undoubtedly the one that is “right” and reflects reality more closely than those other people who just don’t get it. It’s always the other guy that doesn’t understand or is short-sighted or, more likely, is just plain stupid. To be honest, I think that most of the time. To be more honest, I don’t really care that others think the same thing about me. In some specific areas, they might be right. However, where I see a difference is where we try to go with those thoughts and how much we determine it is okay to not only think and act different from others but that we develop a point of view that our way is so much more “right” that others should think, act and follow the same ways. Of course I think my way is usually better and that most other people could live better if they followed my way. Here’s the difference – I really don’t give two shits if anyone else does it my way or according to my beliefs. They work for me and generally speaking, it is unlikely that when I have a choice, I will spend much time with those that traipse well outside that circle of my reality – probably why I keep a rather small circle. I maintain what could be called an “inch deep” philosophy – I don’t delve into others too far and, to the astonishment of many around me, even when I do interact, don’t ask too many questions. Mostly because I don’t really care to know. I’ve got my hands full just figuring out me – and I still have a way to go on that front. I get along with others and many actually find me to be a nice guy but that’s about it. But to the original point – where I think the main difference is between me and them:
1. I’m not looking to have others live under my life “rules” or beliefs. To be honest, you can marry a cow if you want. I don’t understand how anyone can believe that the bible is real and that praying to God or Jesus actually does anything – but I recognize your right to live that way – just don’t tell my I need to follow those rules. “They” will say they don’t do that – but then explain to me how trying to get some amendment passed that recognizes that marriage can only be between a man and a woman isn’t taking that path.
2. I’m not so threatened in how others live or what they believe – as long as it doesn’t impinge on my life. I will never understand why being or believing something different is such a threat to so many people. Could only be in my view but if you are truly confident in your view and beliefs, why such a forceful reaction to something different – I’ve never seen a good answer to that one.
3. I’m don’t really lead of life of hypocrisy. I recognize there is at least some hypocrisy in most all of us but generally speaking, what I say and what I believe is pretty well reflected in how I live my life. I’m a strong believer in family values – but I haven’t had 3 or 4 wives and traded them in when it was convenient or met a different need. I don’t go to church on Sunday, profess to be a Christian and follow the ways of Christ and then basically live the life of a heathen the rest of the week. I have made my choice to not believe or follow religion but I had a lot of years of good Protestant teaching – and if my understanding of the teaching and ways of Jesus are correct, can’t say I’m seeing much of that out there – especially the intolerance and damning of others. I am amazed there is not more outrage among those who profess to be so religious and so righteous given the transgressions and acts against core teachings of the church by many of the leaders so vocal against anything to do with sex.
4. I actually believe that everyone can co-exist and can peacefully live in one society – but that is predicated on people focusing on their own life rather than trying to manage everyone else’s. They seem to believe we can all live together only if we all live and do things the same way. Pretty boring.
I’m sure there are some other differences but I’ve really said enough. I hope nobody reads this and takes away that if you live as I live and follow my beliefs, then all would be better. I really don’t believe that – and more importantly I really don’t care if you do – just stay out of my life.
I do need to make one political comment as it almost wouldn’t be right if I actually posted without somehow taking a jab at the current crop of Republicans – just heard some of a speech Ricky made today – no doubt in the South – He made the observation “Obamacare is the death knell of our freedom” to which he received a strong round of applause. Here’s another place where I’m different – on one hand, I should give a damn whether anyone else has healthcare as I, and my family, are well covered. I don’t worry about needing to go to a doctor or whether I can afford a medicine that will make a difference in my or my family’s life. But I do believe that universal coverage is a good thing – if for no other reason my costs don’t pay for the treatment of those who can’t or chose not to have coverage. I would only suggest that if the general consensus is to not force universal care, then keep those who choose to forgo coverage from treatments that I need to pay for. Ricky’s ongoing push of his beliefs and views of life don’t seem that different from others we have historically found unacceptable.
As a note of interest on the healthcare coverage issue, Ii would like to pass on my recent experience. I worked 15 year as a N.I.C.U. and Well Newborn Nursery nurse. I had healthcare coverage through my own job until the last couple years I worked, then my husband and I switched to his plan through his employer. So far, so good. I retired early to stay home with our 1 1/2 year old son and we were fortunate enough to get the news we were expecting again. I started seeing my OB/GYN under his insurance and paying towards my part of the package to his office. The company my husband worked for went under due to some bad management, leaving over 100 people suddenly jobless. Then the insurance/human resources people informed the former employees that they would not be offered any insurance coverage after the end of the month, and that they did not plan to offer COBRA. The state was contacted immediately to report their refusal to offer COBRA, but we were told that in this instance they did not have to comply with state regulations about mandatory COBRA since the whole company had gone under. There were many employees with ‘pre-existing’ illnesses who had been paying for their coverage and were now uninsurable. That was another fun fact we discovered. If you have a ‘pre-existing’ illness (and that includes pregnancy) your employer MUST offer you the company insurance package regardless….but if you try to take out private insurance, it is AGAINST the law for the insurance companies to cover you. So, here we are halfway into a pregnancy with an impending and already scheduled c/section and tubal and we are suddenly without insurance and because he was gainfully employed we did not qualify for assistance. Our prospective bill inflate overnight from around 2 thousand dollars to over 20 thousand. We did not have the funds to pay our suddenly inflated bill to my OB/GYN so I was looking at having to finish my prenatal care at the health department and come in ‘unassigned’ when I went into labor. That means you get whatever doctor happens to be on call, you have no say in it. That also meant no tubal. I had arranged to donate my cord blood for stem cell research and now I could not do that either because I could only do it if my own OB/GYN who signed the consent papers drew it. We had a happy ending because he got another job within a month and the new insurance took effect 5 days before my surgery-just in the nick of time. Not every story in our town ended that well though. It never occurred to me that working people who complied with all rules and regs regarding their insurance, paid their premiums on time, and did nothing wrong could find themselves without the means to cover medical bills. To summarize my long winded speech—the healthcare system is seriously broken. After all the years I worked in the medical field, it took this experience to show me just how important it is to make healthcare universal. Even if you are covered today, you never know what might happen tomorrow. You might be looking out for others by working for change, but you also might just be looking out for yourself, as well.