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.


Monday, October 08, 2007

The Life Cycle of No

I have noticed that oftentimes a none-other-than-no metamorphs over time into a maybe and eventually a positive exclamation known more universally as a yes.

I find this absolutely intriguing. And evidence of the life cycle of no is not only present in my own life but in everything I come into contact with. We may start with a concerete no, absolutely not, never on your life even as we slowly morph into a perhaps if you can accomplish this or document that. After a certain amount of time, a time whose length is directly related to the persistence or insistence or perhaps annoying factor established by said inquisitor, morphs into a yes I suppose and once this stage is established a "yes, absolutely!"

When I began running in August of 2005 I could not even run a half mile. I had no notion of my goal to complete a half marathon until January of 2006, but even then, the completion of such a lofty physical goal (13.1 miles) was beyond me. This was a definite no. With the certain endurance capabilities I had acquired, even as such, I was far from prepared for a 13.1 mile course. But as weeks turned into months, finally on June 3rd of 2006, I finished, successfully, my first 1/2 marathon. So where I started from a most certainly not, through persistence and belief and consistency of practise, I accomplished something that will build my spirit in regards to my strength and my understanding of what I am capable of for the rest of my life. A couple months later I upped the ante and finished my second half marathon in approximately 10 minutes less time than the first. And a door that had ALWAYS been closed (the NO door) was once again opened. (The I CAN door.)

While running taught me amazing things about how my perspective of what I can achieve can radically change through persistence and dedication, I have read time and time again how committment to a cause can cause radical change outside of oneself. We need only look to the civil rights movement (not only for racial equality, but also women's suffrage) to garner awesome encouragement from groups that set their sites on a cause, a sense of entitlement, and did not sit passive after one, two, three, or even twenty of those restricting no's. Eventually those no's turned into a yes, and not just an okay, but an overwhelming acknowledgement of their fundamental equality.

This is also present in the current disability rights movement. If I had not had the awesome opportunity to meet some amazing men and women with cognitive delays, I never would have realized how functional and EQUAL these men and women are. I also would not have had the amazing chance to learn that our "humanity" does not have income limits, or even disability limits. Not one of us is less human than another, and each of us has an amazing story that has pivotal input in the grand scheme of the entire "human story" or "human experience."

My son, one year or so ago, received a Sony Playstation 2. Believe me, soon after giving him this box, I questioned my own sanity. Sandis playing video games resulted in instant and multiple meltdowns. It was HARD WORK.

Sandis has now beat Harry Potter (both of those video games for PS2) TWICE. This child that melted down because of the diffficulty of this game had enough persistence and PERSERVERENCE to stick with these games, for over a YEAR, and eventually beat the game.

A year is a long time for a six or seven year old. A really long time.

How long is that same year for a 29 year old? Moment enough to blink? How long is enough? When do I give up on what I believe in?

So while I endeavor to spread the word on disability rights, and while I make the effort to make this story of ours directly apply to you and your life, and your family's lives, and your friend's lives.....I understand that this is a lifetime objective.

And there is not a NO that will stop me from finding that YES that I am certain is just a little bit farther down the line.

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