Sunday, January 24, 2010
Fight Like Hell
O.K. So I'm a flip-flopper these days. Just when I'm ready to wrap a white turban around my head like my fellow yogis,
denounce the bullshit that is American politics and the Republican party
and call it a day, I read something that maybe, just sort of, galvanizes me. Now this article isn't inspirational in the way that Buddhist thought is, or even a particular poem (and notice in the photo above, that I, as a boxer, am smiling at my opponent). And it doesn't allay my disgust and mistrust in the state of the oligarchy. But it gives a certain energy and lifts the cloud of taking things too seriously, getting bogged down and forgetting to be mindful. You can read it here.
I'm off to New Mexico tomorrow, anyway. I've mentioned the job I have as the Parent Co-Chair for the National Institute to Improve Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ). We've been working for years to improve the quality of and access to healthcare for children with special needs, in this case, epilepsy and deafness. It's difficult and sometimes frustrating work but, above all, it has shown me that the country is filled with those who truly believe that healthcare reform is not a luxury but a necessity, not a commodity but a human right. These people that I work with are behind the scenes, doctors and nurses and academics and administrative staff, literally toiling away at improving the lives of tens of thousands of children with diseases and disabilities. They work in a system that is embarrassingly inefficient yet manage to make incremental changes that make a difference. I might add that the work is funded by the BIG, BAD government that so many in our country villify. The Department of Maternal Child and Health provides the money for the grants that seven states use for the improvement efforts. This is the second collaborative that I've worked on in almost five years and since then, improvements have been ongoing in California, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, South Carolina, Mississippi, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Illinois and New Jersey. The work is slow and sometimes tedious. But it's worthy, and I'm going to keep on doing it.
Switzerland will have to wait, I suppose, its beautiful peaks and valleys and comprehensive healthcare coverage for all, a beacon if our own is snuffed out.