Friday, December 5, 2008

God, Healthcare and Happiness

The following is simplistic, to be sure, we can get more complicated as the days go by, but for now:

#1 God: There's a billboard in Olympia, Wa. placed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation--it celebrates the Solstice and comments on religion's tendency to make nutballs (my word) out of people. See Hermana's post below.
The Repubs in the Washington State Legislature are planning to have it removed---somehow---they don't specify the method.
Some of our citizenry is threatened by the presence of this billboard. I ask them, is God so fragile that he'd be obliterated by a billboard? Is your faith so shaky that a Freedom from Religion statement hits you in a weak spot?
Claim your faith. If God is all the things He is proclaimed to be, he doesn't need your protection. He needs your love. He needs you to be kind and generous and serene in your faith and to set an example for your companions here on Earth.
That might actually persuade people to your belief.
Having tantrums in God's name makes you small and petty.
#2 Health Care. Is Health Care a right? It's not in the Constitution but what I have to ask is that with more than 300 million people living in the USA what kind a population do you want? I prefer mine healthy and educated. Raising toothless, stupid, angry people makes jobs, of course, for the prisons and the Depts of Health and Human Services, police departments, border patrols--you catch my meaning. Providing basic health care (including dental) for all people in America might be a nice change. Let's try it.

#3 Happiness in times of trouble. We are a perverse species--times of trouble enliven us and make us think--the trick is to keep your wits about you and think sensibly. No finger-pointing, no tantrums. Take a good look at what's going on in the world and make appropriate changes. Admittedly, these may be BIG changes if the economy continues to dive so steeply. Don't be so frightened--it clouds your mind, it scares your kids. Teach those kids how to get through difficult times honorably, bravely, with a smile even. We all might have to give up the big homes, the extra cars, the private schools. We may have to eat red beans and Spam for a good long while. We'll have to shop at second-hand stores---the ones where you can buy clothes by the pound. Not so much cosmetic surgery for a while--save it for that appendectomy or heart valve replacement you're going to need.
We have to live small, simple lives for now, we're not going to get the dream we imagined. But new dreams are always good.
Exactly what is it that we're afraid to lose? Our money or our King of the Hill status?
We can do this. We can square our shoulders and look reality in the face and walk forward into whatever mind-blowing, heart-breaking changes await us.
Stand up straight, take a good deep breath and go, Go, GO.

Paraphrasing Epictetus:

What is in our power is the capacity to adapt ourselves to all that comes about, to judge anything that is 'dispreferred' not as bad, but as indifferent and not strong enough to overwhelm our strength of character.

No comments: