Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Caught Wondering….

At what point did I cease to be a human? At which juncture did I lose my capability to feel? Is life always going to be this numb? Am I unconscious of any effect my actions or words may have on the emotions of others?

There seems to be a lot of death in my life lately. Gloom and doom. First Sandis’s dad. Of course his dad hasn’t died, but he is awaiting open-heart surgery. And fancy that, he is waiting to have his open heart surgery because he is also waiting for his sister to die. Sandis’s dad’s sister (technically Sandis’s aunt) has terminal cervical cancer. I remember her from many years ago. I remember her. I talked to Sandis’s dad’s Mom (technically Sandis’s grandmother) last night and I heard this most recent tidbit. I wasn’t phased. Really I wasn’t. And I didn’t even realize I wasn’t phased. Not until today.

I was discussing the news of this “aunt” with a co-worker (more like a friend than a co-worker due to her casual demeanor) and she mentioned that I didn’t sound upset. I callously replied, “I don’t know these people.”

(Light bulb moment occurs as I am recognizant of inner-numbness.)

Because. I don’t. I don’t know them. I knew them at some point many years ago and events interspersed with human relation complexity blurred this knowledge. I don’t know them. Does not knowing them mean they cease to be human with feelings and fears that I should respect?

This family has never been involved in Sandis’s life. This family is being torn apart. This family is loosely yet fundamentally tied in with my own.

At the realization of my failure to find empathy and my failure to initially realize I should attempt to respect this family and their current ordeals got me thinking. I am having surgery soon, and normally this would trigger a level 7 (at least) mommy meltdown. Tears, fears, ohmygodtheworldisending meltdown. It hasn’t happened. I, up until earlier today, attributed this to getting older. I mean, damn, I’m almost THIRTY. But is being older a license to lack empathy in any (some, all, etc.) of my affairs?

I’m thinking probably not. I think I have a lot to learn about how to be a human. Thank god I’m not yet thirty. I’d hope I have it figured out by then (at least).


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