Why Not Believe It?, Or….I Can’t Think of A Clever Alternative Title Right Now

•October 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

One night my husband Brad and I were on the way home from a holiday family event when we drove by some tennis courts near our house. The floodlights at the court were on and 4 people were playing tennis. Brad was on the phone with our friend Tio and suddenly shouted….

“Holy *&^%! Are those ninjas???!!!!”

I nearly ran off the road from laughing so hard. They weren’t ninjas, of course; they were two men in suits and two women in black jilbabs and hijabs.

But here is what amazed me….that somewhere in Brad’s mind – a mind that focuses on the concrete and doesn’t care much about what can’t be seen or touched – somewhere in there is a spark of wonder that allowed him to believe for one split second, when something unexpected flashed past the corner of his vision, that this world is one in which ninjas really could be playing tennis on a cracked-up old court in the middle of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

I want to live in a world like that. I like living in a world like that. Where wonders are waiting around any corner. Where the unexpected is full of potential delight. Where amazement and awe are invited anywhere, everywhere, anytime.

The first sentence of the Christian Bible states simply, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Then follows the synopsis of God’s creation of the world, the sun and stars, the plants, the animals, and man, all within 6 days, followed by his rest on the 7th. Simple story. Short. Pretty cut-and-dry. And a major, dividing, contentious source of debate.

The two sides that I know of boil down to this: either the creation story is true and factual exactly as it was written, or it is a sophisticated theological statement of the attributes of God that is true but not factual, constrained as the writers were by the scientific knowledge available at the time and driven by the need to clarify the identity of God against the other belief systems present in the area at the time the story was written down. I’m not getting into the debate in this post, nor explaining either side of the argument. All I’m thinking, after a discussion tonight with an awesome group of people, is this….

If you are a Christian and have an opinion one way or the other……Why not believe it….either of the its?

I am not asking here why you believe one way or the other is wrong. I am asking this – why wouldn’t you want to believe that one way or the other is right?

Why not believe that God created the earth in seven days? Maybe seven 24-hour days; maybe seven 1000-year days; it doesn’t matter. Why not let the wonder of a God that can – with nothing more than a command – build an entire planet and inhabit it with millions of lifeforms seep into the mundane realism  of your existence? Why not believe that the God of the impossible did the impossible in a way so divine that we can barely grasp the possiblilty? Why not attribute to God the power to do something he wanted in the way that he wanted at the time that he wanted and to do so outside of the constraints of science and physical history and timeline rules that he himself created? Why wouldn’t you want believe in that kind of magic, that amount of wonder, that possibility of the miraculous?

Or…

Why not believe that the purpose of the creation story is to proclaim the truth about God’s glory and power and majesty, using metaphor and poetry and symbolism instead of hard, cold, emotionless facts? Why not believe that our science and our histories and our ability to reason, gifts given to us from God, are not incompatible with, nor belittling of, the simple story of creation that reads like an ancient myth? Why not believe that the ideas about God present in the story are radical enough within the context of the time it was written to make the creation of the story itself a miracle?  Why would you not want to believe that God loves his creation enough to help us attempt to understand him within our own feeble limits of knowledge and wisdom and language, even though his power and actions are far, far, far, far beyond our ability to comprehend and we insult his might with the smallness of our concept of him?

We believe something about everything. That this is true, and that isn’t. That this is good, and that this other thing is bad. That mine is blue, but yours is red. Belief….our foundation of our faith, or of our lack of faith…the way we understand the world we live in and who we think we are. But let’s open ourselves up some for a moment, and pretend that the other point of view might be right, and ask ourselves, “Why do I not want to believe this? What is it about this different point of view that offends me so deeply?”

Ask this: Why do I not want to believe…..insert the story or law or person of your choice here. What would hurt me, if I believed the opposite way of what I do? What would challenge me? What would I have to change or discard or let go of or accept if I believed that other way instead?

What would I have to give up if I accepted this explanation? My belief in justice? My feeling of control? My hope for mercy? My trust in logic? My knowledge of science? My sense of myself? My lifestyle? My friends? My plans? My life?

Maybe I don’t want to believe that the creation story is a literal description of exactly what happened, because that would challenge my belief in science and make me have to question my belief in a rule-bound, comprehendable, and predictable universe. Furthermore, people might think I’m crazy.

Maybe I don’t want to believe that the creation story is a theological statement wrapped in a metaphor, because then I would have to dig deeper into the other stories I have accepted at face value and see if there is a deeper meaning that I missed, or if I can even maintain my faith when I know there are facts that I have not been given. Furthermore, people might accuse me of being politically correct.

When I take a look at some of the things I believe, and then turn around and try to figure out what makes me resistant to believing the opposite, I start to uncover things about myself. Weaknesses, like things I do or think that I know are wrong and wish I could hide. Fear, maybe that science won’t have all of the answers when my loved one is sick. Resistance, like to the idea that I am not nearly as in control as I wish I was. Strengths, like that my faith is stronger than my ability to understand. Hope, like I, so small, might be worth so much to a God so large that he would make the ultimate sacrifice for me.

And even though exploring this question – “why would I not want to belive it?” – won’t make us change our minds about what we believe or where we stand on any issue, it might – just maybe – make us change ourselves for the better.

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Your Day Without Shoes (Jun 11), Or…Walking Like God Intended

•June 9, 2011 • 1 Comment

I went to college (the first time) with a guy whose girlfriend had never been barefoot outside in her life.

It tripped me out, because she was a hippy chic. Well, not a real hippy chic, but the upper-upper-middle-class, vegetarian, hemp jewelry, pacifist, intelligentsia liberal free-thinking type. I think there is another word for it now, but this was the mid-90s in Asheville, so anyone who smelled like patchouli was called a hippy.

Anyway, as into the all-natural deal as she was, she had never walked outside with no shoes on. Something about germs or worms or dirtiness or something. So one day, Randy finally took her out in to the grass and made her take her shoes off and wiggle her toes around in it. It blew her freakin’ mind.

Me? I grew up barefoot. Jumping around in mud puddles and stuff. I still go barefoot anytime I am not in a restaurant, a school, a business, or driving. Yesterday I was out in the green bean field weeding when my ankles and hips started burning from walking over the uneven ground. I pulled off my shoes and walked barefoot in the (oh-so-soft-and-warm) dirt between the rows. Ahhhhhh….because my feet could shift and adjust to the terrain and I wasn’t lurching myself back and forth, off balance the whole time.

My kids go barefoot. All of them, even the 1-year-old, have got some tough little feet. Barefeet are healthier for little ones; research shoes that kids who go barefoot have stronger, more supple feet with fewer deformities. They have better posture, are less likely to fracture an ankle or foot bone, and have fewer foot problems like bunions, heel spurs, and posture-related back pain in their 20s. Arch support is actually bad for foot development – it can cause foot deformities. Barefoot babies learn to walk earlier and fall less.

So….the reason I am saying all this is because Saturday, June 11 is YOUR DAY WITHOUT SHOES. Check out the site: The Primalfoot Alliance.

And because I want to win a free book called The Barefoot Running Book Second Edition: A Practical Guide to the Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running from this guy: http://brandonmulnix.com/your-day-without-shoes-june-11th-giveaway/ .

Not that I’m a runner. I just like to win stuff. If I win it, I promise to give it to the Ghiloni family – runners every one.

Jesse, Sri Lanka, and Ma, Or…..Life Goes On

•May 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Your mama probably said it a million times. You say it yourself…. When your prom date stands you up. When you lose your job. When someone you love dies. When the guy that bought the lottery ticket right after you wins a million bucks. Life goes  on.

But that’s acceptance-lite. There’s more to the concept than that. More fear. More pain. More guilt.

Life does go on. With or in spite of us.

Jesse was my husband’s roommate and best friend for years before he moved and joined the military. He turned 28 in April. He’s been in one health care facility or another since October 2009. His story, shared by his devoted sister Charity, is here: BLOG FOR JESSE.

Brad (my husband), Paul and I went and visited Jesse last week, since he is spending a few weeks in an assisted living facility in our town. We told a lot of stories. Jesse laughed a lot with his eyes, and his nurse was thrilled when he said our names. We made plans to go back.

In the meantime….kids went to school. Work happened. Church happened. Drinking happened. Horse riding happened. Gardening happened. Drama happened. Life happened.

Brad and his friend Dave went back a few days later. Travis and I went back Wednesday night. We managed to stay a little bit past visiting hours without getting kicked out and left Jesse watching basketball.

Travis and I spent a few hours talking in the parking lot afterwards. I started talking about being in Sri Lanka in 2006, and I remembered….

Cows on the beach in Weligama, Sri Lanka.

Stepping out of time for three and a half weeks. Feeling totally disconnected from my life. Wondering if I still existed to the people at home, if they still would have a space for me in their lives when I got back. Trying to guess how relationships adjusted, whether work was getting done, whether the person doing it was better at it than me, how life was going on while I wasn’t in it.

It was surreal. My real life was blurry, and the place I was in was confusing and unfamiliar. The only contact I had with anyone I had known before I left was through the occasional quick email, if I could get to a local dial-up internet cafe. Even now, I can’t really connect that time with my real life – there isn’t a continuum to hang it on. It is less like remembering, and more like watching TV.

And I was there for less than a month. Maybe it would have been different if I was there longer and formed a mental attachment as an anchor. Maybe I’m just a wuss. It was just so scary to know that life was going on without me.

Then I came home. And settled back in to my life. Tried to talk to my friend Anura a couple of times, but the phone made it harder to understand each other’s accents. Got a letter from one of the kids I taught. Made friends with fellow travelers on that social dinosaur, MySpace.

And life went on. While the airport I flew in and out of was bombed, while the civil war finally exploded, while the tourists stayed away. While I knew that the friends I had made must be suffering from fear for family and from economic disaster through the loss of the tourism trade. My life went on, and I spared a thought and a prayer for them when I remembered, and kept living.

Yesterday I thought about my great-grandma, Ma Inscoe. She was in a nursing home as far back as I could remember, and I used to visit her with my grandmother once a week. I sang songs. Talked. Watch her nod her head. It never occured to me that she might need those visits, that even though she had crafts and sing-alongs and meals and books to occupy her, she might crave a connection to the people who had made up her life before. I just went because Granny took me. If I didn’t have to go, I didn’t.

For days since we first visited, I will be doing something, all caught up in it, and my mind will flash to Jesse lying in the hospital bed. Or I’ll be walking past Brad and glance over and see a faraway look in his eye and know that he is thinking about Jesse. And I wonder…what is Jesse doing right now? What is he thinking? Is he waiting for Brad to visit again? Does he want to know about our lives now? Or should we just talk about old times and pretend that life hasn’t gone on, that we aren’t out doing things while he is confined to a bed in a room with visitors coming at unpredictable times with no promises of when they will come again?

Except for his family. His mom, his sister, his little niece, other family members – they have followed him and visited him everywhere he has been. From Lousianna to Maryland, to Virginia, to North Carolina….and they will go wherever he is sent next. His mom calls the nurses to make sure they have the tv on the right channel when a game is on. His sister ensures he has entertainment and knows that his friends are thinking of him.  Their lives and his are intertwined. For them, life goes on together.

Can you imagine how it must feel to Jesse to know that he is so important to them? That he is a centerpiece of their existence, that their worlds are made up with him as a major part of it? He isn’t optional. He isn’t an afterthought. He isn’t a “when I have a free second, I’ll run by and check on him.” No, he is part of life. A participant in life. An enhancer of life.

He makes people happy, just because he is alive. And because he might not have been. And they give him a life, too, so that his life can go on, even when he can’t speak about it or chose what to do with it.

The connections between people…..the emptiness of disconnection….the despair of loneliness. The impact we all have on each other to keep each other alive. The impact we could have if we paid attention, thought a little more about the other person, gave a little more time. Jesse, Sri Lanka, Ma…I wish I’d realized all this earlier than a week ago.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Or…Happily Screwed in the Nonprofit World

•May 17, 2011 • 2 Comments

“Goodbye, yellow brick road,

Where the dogs of society howl.

You can’t plant me in your penthouse,

I’m going back to my plow…

I’ve finally decided my future lies

Beyond the yellow brick road.”

So….for six years I’ve been working my butt off for a company that I really believed in. I started getting restless a couple of years in, but I moved up quickly and always had a new project to work on and keep me interested. But…..

Overtime (on salary, so didn’t really do much for me), working through two maternity leaves, Blackberry, travel travel travel, meetings, office politics – all those things started wearing me down after awhile. I had to wear a new persona, and my boss had more ambition for me than I had for myself. I just wanted to do a job and do it well, help people, and take care of my employees. Instead, I was a public face, requiring all of the clothes, mannerisms, and aggressiveness that the job entailed.

I was being groomed to interact with the penthouse people, but I never felt comfortable. It was a different culture, with different rules, values, and standards. Different does not mean better.

I grew up on a farm, for God’s sake. I know plows.

And then it turns out that the boss that was grooming me wasn’t (allegedly) the person she appeared to be. And after years of dealing with company bigwigs and politicians and backstabbing passive-aggressive corporate ladder climbers, I was already suspicious of pretty much everyone around me. I was also fed up with the drama and the paranoia and  was fighting hard to maintain my integrity, my honesty, and the balance in my life.

Then we were called into a meeting – all of us that worked there – and told that the company was shutting down, we were laid off as of that day, and…(slipped in almost unnoticeably)…we wouldn’t be paid our last paycheck for the pay period that ended – you guessed it – that very day because the audit that had been going on for a few weeks had led to our nonprofit being placed on the state’s suspension of funding list.

Damn.

So the Board of Directors was going to keep us informed about what was going on and try to get us back into employment. We haven’t heard from them since, which didn’t surprise me because I’d already figured out years ago that CYA is the name of the game.

I’m so happy these days. I have spent my time with my kids, with the horses, and on the farm. I’m harvesting vegetables and taking them to a farmer’s market in a very poor area of Rocky Mount. I’m training horses and trail riding and giving kids the chance to be around horses through our holiday events, the local library, and other community events. I’m getting my own yard straight. I am taking photographs left and right, have written for a local magazine and newspaper, and am doing some side work for the local Boys and Girls Club. I will be a part-time instructor at a local college, which has been a dream of mine for years. I kayak with my best friend since our preteen years. My oldest kid is in Boy Scouts, both boys are in church choir, and I have time to go to school events.

 I am on the verge of bankruptcy, don’t have insurance for the kids (company won’t supply COBRA), have lots of expensive clothes that aren’t being used but don’t have many casual clothes because I had to spend all my clothes money on suits, and don’t expect to reach my previous income level anytime soon. We could lose nearly everything any day.

And I feel good. I have faith. I am willing to live on less and lose many things that seemed important if I can continue to play in the dirt. I’m relaxed, laid back, and feel like I recognize myself again. And so the chorus of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” hit me with incredible impact when I heard it on the radio recently. I sing it to myself every time I go out and work in the fields.

Why Children Are Gifts, Or….Mom Is God

•May 13, 2011 • 1 Comment

Characters:  Raiden, a 3-year-old and his mom

(Living room, early morning. Lights are off in the room and the window blinds are open.)

Raiden: (pointing to window) Look, the lights are on!

Mom: Yes, the sun is up.

Raiden: (gives Mom a hug) Thank you, Mom, for making the sun come up.

Mom: (winks) Anytime.

NC Senate Betrays Children, Elderly, American Values,Or…Hide Yo’ Wife, Hide Yo’ Kids, Hide Yo’ Husband, They Rapin’ Everybody’s Rights Around Here

•February 18, 2011 • 4 Comments

How much is a voter’s life or abilities worth to the 27 NC GOP and Dem Senators that sponsored SB 33?  No more than $250,000.

I cried driving home from the legislature today. I attended the public hearing on Senate Bill 33 on Medical Liability Reform out of personal interest, not business. I heard and saw a child without limbs, of the death of an elderly mom, about the death of a healthy child, of disfigurement. 

This bill limits the amount awarded in a lawsuit for medical negligence to $250,000. So, question..what hospital do you live near?  Do you trust it?

How many of you have horror stories about experiences in the emergency room? Of a doctor that misdiagnosed your child? Of mixed up medication? Of pain, injury or death – or near-death – because of medical negligence? How many of you or your loved ones narrowly escaped the experience with your life or health?

What if you didn’t escape? The NC Senate gives you a big ol’ middle finger, that’s what.

I once found out that a doctor I was seeing here in Rocky Mount had been found not responsible for the death of a woman who bled to death after a laproscopy because….get this…although he WAS negligent, he had provided care standard to what can be expected for the economics and population of our area. Believe it or not, law already says exactly that. Nice to know we are just as important as people in the Triangle or Charlotte, ain’t it? But this bill makes it even worse and more appalling.

Unfortunately, although I switched doctors (to Nash OB-GYN and Dr. Collins and love them), I did not know my cousin was seeing this one. Her delivery was similar to my first in a Charlotte hospital; sadly, her doctor’s response was completely different and pain, suffering, and medical expenses still occur today, three years later.

SB 33 does several things that I find disgusting. The first, and biggest, is to cap awards for noneconomic damages due to medical malpractice at $250,000. That includes pain, suffering..PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENT, DISFIGUREMENT, and ANY OTHER NONPECUNIARY, COMPENSATORY DAMAGES.

How does anyone who supports this bill look their elderly mother in the eye? Their children or grandchildren? Their spouse? THEIR VOTERS?

Hypothetical conversation… Parent: “Dear Senator – my four-year-old son was misdiagnosed in the ER and lost both arms, both legs, and his nose. We have many more surgeries ahead and he may never be able to hold a decent job or go through a day without pain. Our medical bills are impoverishing us. He will be a burden on the system without damages to sustain him.”

Senator: “To hell with you. You should have been rich so he would never need to work anyway. Here is $250,000 dollars, which should support him for about 10 years if he eats grits and cheese. Now go away and stop asking for handouts.”

Parent: “But, Mr. Senator, it will cost us $225,o00 to bring a lawsuit! We can’t afford to do that if the most in damages we would end up with is $25,000. We couldn’t miss work to go to trial! And other parents will never know that their child is in danger, and the people who did this will never experience consequences for their actions and might do the same again!”

Senator: “Doctors are above consequences. That’s why I am one.”

This might seem far-fetched, except I met little Ethan today – who had been perfectly healthy but got sick one day and went to the ER and who has no arms, legs, or nose because of a misdiagnosis and faces so, so, many surgeries. I heard Laurie Sanders tell how her 6-year-old went to the hospital for the first time and was diagnosed with croup and admitted. How they put him on anti-anxiety meds because he thrashed so much when he couldn’t breathe. How they messed up his medication and released him despite her protests.

He started having trouble breathing by the time he got home. They turned around and went back. He was put on oxygen and seemed fine. They took the mask off and in a few minutes he started wheezing and panicking. He reached for his mother, but the nurses dragged her out of the room before she could catch his hands. Five minutes later he was dead.

She heard the defense lawyer tell her lawyer, “Come on, now. A kindergartener has no economic value.”

Apparently the GOP and Dem Senators who sponsored this bill agree.

Let’s take a look at who supported the bill today:

  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield of NC
  • NC Chamber of Commerce (I still haven’t figured out why he cared.)
  • NC Friends of Midwives
  • NC College of Emergency Physicians
  • NC Medical Society

Now, who was against it?

  • NC Advocates for Justice
  • Joe Knott, trial lawyer, ultra-conservative Republican, once ran for Attorney General as GOP
  • Coalition for Patient Safety
  • Lawyer reading letter on behalf of Kim Brown, who had both breast removed completely for invasive breast cancer, then was told it was a mistake – the doctor had dictated into the wrong file. (I wonder what happened to the woman who DID have cancer?)
  • AARP
  • Martha Walden, whose mother wandered out of her nursing home after not receiving her medication and died of hypothermia – the facility failed to do a bed check so she wasn’t found until 3:30 am on Christmas Eve
  • Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care
  • Heather and Chris, and their young son, Ethan

Notice anything? Like the fact that the ones who support it represent money and special interests, while those who oppose it represent people who are vulnerable, hurting, and voiceless and vote? God, I am crying again writing this….

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me…” (Matt. 25:45)

Supporters claim that this bill will bring down the cost of health care. Seriously? I’m sorry, guys, but you are tackling the wrong problem here. Look at this:

  • 4,000 people in NC die due to preventable medical errors every year
  • over 5,000 people in NC suffer disabilities as a result of medical error
  • less than 500 lawsuits are filed a year (465 last year), less than 5% of those injured

Umm.. so I have a 1 in 5 chance of being harmed by medical care in an NC hospital, more people in NC die every year from medical malpractice than from manslaughter, breast cancer, auto accidents, prostate cancer and murder COMBINED and only 500 people sue a year – and you are going to tell me that health cost are too high because people ask for help and justice????

Here’s a novel idea – maybe health care costs are too high because the INSURANCE COMPANIES CHARGE DOCTORS TOO MUCH for insurance against something that doesn’t happen more often than it does. How about supporting that one, Mr. Blue Cross/Blue Shield?

In this 2009 article, Insurers inflated med mal crisis: Report, we learn that:

“Yet, the insurers’ incurred losses fell 48% to $1.35 billion in 2006 from $2.6 billion in 2003, Mr. Angoff reported. Nine insurers in the group reported drops of more than 50% of incurred losses, and two reported reductions of more than 80%, Mr. Angoff’s report noted….

“In addition, between 2003 and year-end 2006, the insurers’ surplus grew 43%, the report stated….

“But premiums continued to rise sharply from 2000 through 2006, Mr. Angoff noted. Insurers reported $2.38 billion of net written premiums in 2006, a 24% increase from $1.92 billion of net written premiums in 2000.”

SOLUTION #1 – CAP THE AMOUNT THAT INSURANCE COMPANIES CAN CHARGE FOR MALPRACTICE INSURANCE, instead of how much restitution is due to victims.

BONUS – You won’t be taking away our right to have a JURY OF OUR PEERS to decide. Or have you thrown that ideal out right along with our right to life, having put a higher value on the life and happiness of doctors than on the vast majority of Americans.

As Republican lawyer Joe Knott pointed out, our Constitution states that all of us are equal, and no group is so much more equal that they should be protected from their folly at the cost of others. Mr. Knott objected to the bill on Christian grounds, calling it “immoral and unjust” and contrary to the idea of America and its principals. He said, “Your life, limb, eyesight, paralysis – some small group will determine what these are worth” if this bill passes.

Some claim that “defensive medicine” drives up the cost of health care – that doctors do unnecessary procedures just to cover their butt. Ummm…I’m okay with extra tests to make sure my child is NOT DYING. I will pay for those extra tests out of my own pocket, if I have to sell my house and car to do it. I have requested them in the past. And because my doctor CARES and IS AWESOME, I also trust that she will already be doing everything she should, because she cares and listens.

So, Mr. Physician Association Lobbyist, Your risk of being sued is 500 times in 9,000 cases and my chances of being hurt or dying are 1 in 5 and you’re the one worried? Here’s an idea of how to protect yourself – DO YOUR FRIGGIN’ JOB AND LISTEN TO YOUR PATIENTS AND YOUR NURSES.

And if the legislature is so intent on sticking its nose in, it can help you by concentrating on the ROOT of the problem instead of the end result. There is a little-known maxim highly applicable to fiscal responsibility that our Senators may, unfortunately, have never heard: An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound of Cure.

SOLUTION #2 – TAKE STEPS TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF INSTANCES OF MEDICAL MISTAKES, instead of removing punitive damages for making them.

BONUS – You will cut costs for our state and nation by significantly reducing the financial burdens on our social services system. SSI, Medicaid and Medicare, Food Stamps, cash assistance for disabled, etc., etc. – all services that victims who cannot work and the families who lose breadwinners must access to survive.

How could our legislators implement this solution?

  • Reduce the number of hours ER and hospital physicians and nurses are allowed to work in a row and set a minimum number of hours between shifts – studies show that many errors happen near the end of shift when workers are tired.
  • Increase protection for nurses who speak up to doctors about concerns about the prescribed treatment based on their observations of the patient, and for nurses who report medical negligence or mistakes.
  • Accelerate the adoption of technoloy like electronic health records, identity verification, and record flags.

Some things in Senate Bill 33, I can understand. I agree that ER staff should have the same kind of immunity that other emergency personnel have in ACUTE, emergency situations. I think that the idea to require payments over $75,000 be disbursed over time instead of in a lump payment makes sense, allowing insurance companies more stability and accurate budget projections. I am not against the total bill.

But for a legislature to set a monetary value on every single citizen’s life, instead of our peers making case-by-case decisions? Sounds like big government to me.

To cater to insurance companies and special interest groups instead of representing the best interests of your voters? Sounds like a great reason to vote you out next time to me.

To address the end result of the problem instead of the causes? Sounds like irresponsible fiscal policy to me.

I am giving the bill sponsors – Senators Apodaca, Brown, Rucho;  Bingham, Blake; Brock, Clary, Davis, Goolsby, Gunn, Harrington, Hise, Hunt, Jackson, Jones, Mansfield, Meredith, Pate, Preston, Purcell, Rabon, Rouzer, Soucek, Stevens, Tillman, Tucker, and Walters – the benefit of the doubt, that they are not heartless, greedy, ignorant of basic health care statistics, or dismissive of and sneering at their voters. I am assuming that they had not fully thought through the repercussions of logical fallacies of this bill and that the public hearing and statistics they heard will cause them to consider parts of the bill more closely. I am going to believe this right now – EVEN ABOUT THE ONES WHO ARE PHYSICIANS THEMSELVES.

But I will be watching, and I will be sharing, and I will be protesting this bill. And if it passes in the end, I will be changing the way I vote.

A Bipolar Prayer, Or…Boom, Boom, Ain’t It Great to be Crazy?

•February 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

 

A Bipolar Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for making me crazy.

Thank you for saving me from my folly,

And preserving my life

A dozen times.

Thank you for your protection

From my own impulsivity.

——

Thank you, Lord, for flights of frenzy.

Thank you for seasons of impact,

When ideas and plans take flight,

When I ride on currents of energy,

When the intensity of love I feel

For all people and things

Buoys me into skies of light.

When I create,

When I sing,

When I exalt,

When I feel.

Thank you for those who follow my flights

And finish them.

—–

Thank you, Lord, for Icarus wings.

Thank you for plunges into treacherous depths.

I fear no darkness,

When you are with me.

I once feared myself,

Curling in against my own despair,

Sinking in an armored shell

That carried me only further beneath the waves.

I once closed my eyes and held my breath,

Afraid to see the beauty beyond the light,

Afraid to explore the dangers and solemn joys

Lurking in the dark reef of my mind.

Here I have learned humility,

I have learned compassion,

I have learned honesty,

And truth.

I have met my most hidden self,

And I have survived.

—–

Thank you, Lord, for self-awareness.

Thank you for the drive of self-improvement.

Thank you for a family that taught me to think of others,

To consider the impact of my actions and words,

To be responsible for the ripples I make in the world.

Thank you that I learned my limitations,

That I learned my weaknesses,

Before my children could suffer from them.

Thank you for science,

For support,

And for security.

—–

Thank you, Lord, for forgiveness from you and from others,

For second chances,

For islands of calm upon which I rest .

Thank you for teaching me when to finish,

And when to walk away.

Tomorrow I may follow currents of sea or air,

I may soar or I may drown.

Tomorrow I may be nothing.

Thank you, Lord, for tomorrow’s grace,

And for grace to come hereafter.