“As the story goes, there are only two kinds of Americans — those who are already rich and those who expect to be. That’s why Americans won’t tolerate tax-the-rich proposals that pit one group against another, when we should be all in it together.”
~ Geoff Nunberg on NPR.org
I’ve never been a political person. In the past I’ve preferred to pointedly ignore politics and the state of the union such as it is. Thanks to The Writer and my experiences in med school the last two years, I’ve come to realize that no matter how much I’d like to, I cannot (if I consider myself to be even a somewhat moral human being or medical provider), maintain my blissful, purposeful political ignorance any longer.
Things in our country and our world, are frankly, a rapidly worsening mess. Things, including global and domestic economies, taxation systems, distribution of wealth, inequality, poverty, food crises, climate change, education, human rights, and, probably most importantly (to me), health care.
In the past I have ignored all these issues, preferring to take the John Mayer approach of sitting back and waiting on the world to change, because I’ve felt helpless as an individual to do anything about them.
Now I know that is a blatant, shameful cop-out.
Maybe its true, that as an individual, I won’t make any big diffence. But its an absolute certainty that I won’t effect any changes for the better if I continue to sit around with blinders on and my thumb up my butt, while society crumbles around me.
One of our greatest leaders said in a famous call to action for the citizens of the US, “our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” And that our government is one “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
WE the people, all of us equally, have been given the unique and solemn responsibility for the well-being and management of our country and society. NOT a few select politicians who have managed to enlist the financial backing (and therefore primarily serve the interests of) the elite, moneyed minority in America.
We must stop being helpless, hopeless, impotent by-standers, passively watching, or completely ignoring the destruction of our country, planet and world as we know it.
Bottom line, taking a stand and doing something, anything, it is the only way we can hope to stop it.
For my part, I intend to:
Take my head out of the sand and start reading the news, no matter how bad it is, or how helpless I feel in the face of it, so I actually know what’s going on.
Take a stand by blogging about issues here.
Actively take the time and courage to initiate discussion of issues with others – friends, co-workers, and new people I meet.
Seek out opportunities to get involved. Such as attending political events, voicing support and/or working for candidates or issues I believe in, and making an effort to contact my regional and national representatives and governing bodies to voice my thoughts and input (desired or not) on important issues.
Getting involved in medical organizations that guide politics and policy. From the administration at the facilities where I work, to the AMA and ACOG. **
Now, I’m not saying that every person on Earth, or in this country, has the opportunity or ability to do all, or any of these things. But I am saying that those who do, especially in this country where we are engendered by our Constitution with the responsibility and the right, should be doing something.
And therein lies my challenge to anyone who reads this post/blog, and citizens of the world in general.
I believe in the inherent truth of the quote by another incomparable international leader.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
Nothing is going to get better, nothing is going to change for the better, if we all just sit on our *sses and passively watch the world crash and burn.
What kind of change do you want to see in the world?
And what, are you going to do about it?
**More about this later.