Scrooge’s third visitor, from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843. First edition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Health Care Website Starting to Work but if you listened to faux news or some of the right wing pundits you would hardly know that. They seem determined to undermind everything about the Affordable Health Care Act and when you look at their reasons you have to wonder.
This is an act that is attempting to allow all Americans a chance at getting health care coverage at an affordable price. What’s not to like about that? And explain to me why everyone shouldn’t be able to afford health care? Don’t doctors still take some kind of oath to help the sick and ailing? I think it’s called the hypocratic oath or did they somewhere along the line do away with that oath?
Perhaps the oath today is we only help those who can afford us all others need not apply. I just don’t understand how they think I guess. I was programed from a young age to help those who were less fortunate than myself whenever I could. I was taught that everyone in this nation has certain unalienable rights. I actually believe there is something in our consititution about that.
So why has it become if you are rich and can afford it you get the best health care in the world. If you are poor and have little you get the last resort of health care – the emergency room. Which often means you have to be close to death before they will take you there.
Where has our moral values gone to? And if you call yourself a Christian why wouldn’t you be following the teachings of that Jewish Rabbi from Nazerath who taught that there was nothing greater than coming to the aid of those less fortunate? I consider myself to be a Christian and yet I wonder often at some the pronouncements from people who claim to also be Christian. People who claim to have a moral conscience and yet who would be fine with letting people who have little or nothing be without affordable health care.
Where once we believed that helping others was a noble and honorable profession and mission in life we now have people saying that people who are poor must do for themselves or do without. Where once helping others was something that we strived to do 365 days a year not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas or now not at all.
We have churches and ministers who preach that being poor is something that people aspire to. Really? I say to them they have never been poor! Poor sucks! And I know how much it sucks because I’ve been there done that! When you have to depend on the goodness of others for your Christmas or when you spend a few days on the road at 8 years old hitchhiking with your mother and 2 year old brother with only a dime between you. That’s poor and let me tell you there ain’t no one in their right mind who would want to be in that situation. I know I was that 8 year old kid.
We made it through because of the goodness of strangers. My mother called ‘Angels on Earth’ and they were. But if we had been set afoot in today’s world I might not be here today to relate that story. I remember it today because it was 64 years ago yesterday that, that story began to unfold and I am here today because we had people who cared about us.
They didn’t question that we were there because we wanted to be. They knew that, that wasn’t the case. It was through their love, caring and compassion that I am here. They didn’t tell us to get a job. They didn’t admonish us that we should quit being lazy. They simply came to our aid. Our story of how we got where we were at that point in time was less important to them that making sure we were safe and had food. Helping us make it through mattered to them more than anything else.
Those were special people and they were the backbone of our nation. They helped because they could and because they knew it was the right thing to do. They didn’t hold up their righteousness or their wealth as an example of why they were where they were and we were where we were. They simply lived the American creed of helping others when they needed it.
That trip took four days and changed my life. It made me see what America was truly all about. It wasn’t about amassing all the wealth on earth at the expense of others. It was about doing the right thing and lending a helping hand to those who needed it.
My mother always reminded us that though we could never repay those ‘Angels on Earth’ for their kindness to us we could make sure that we could pass it on to others. And she spent the rest of her life helping others. When she became a judge she was re-elected 5 times because she cared about the people she served and they knew it.
The one thing that always stuck with me about my mother was that she cared. Over the years I have had so many people in that town where she lived and served come up to me and relate a story about how my mother made a difference in their life. That’s what Americans have always done, helped one another. My mother never judged the plight of others and she always applied the law with an eye to mercy, justice and fairness.
A future governor of Texas gave her, her nickname – ‘The Fair Judge’, because he once told her, “Ruth you are the fairest person I have ever known! If I ever get into a situation where I need a fair judge, you will be the one I choose, because I know you care about what happens to people!”
That’s what Americans should be about! That’s what America is and always has been about!