Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday August 30, 2009 ...Pass it on

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 44 lessons life taught me.
It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled
over to 90 in August, so here goes:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
9. Love your parents because they will be gone before you know it.
10. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
11. It's OK to let your children see you cry
12. Don't compare your life to others'.. You have no idea what their journey is
all about.
13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
14. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.
15. Take a deep breath......It calms the mind.
16. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
17. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
18. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
19. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
20. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion..Today is special.
21. Over-prepare, then go with the flow.
22. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
23. The most important sex organ is the brain.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?
26. Always choose life.
27. Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
32. Believe in miracles.
33. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
34. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
35. Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
41. The best is yet to come.
42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
43. Yield.
44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday August 18, 2009...Depressed

I'm a bit depressed today.

Okay, I'll admit that I now lean to the liberal side of the aisle. I was originally a young Republican with belief in Eisenhower and Nixon and Goldwater. But, once Reagan and Bush (the elder)had their 12 years of trickle down tripling of the national debt and reshuffling of the financial strength away from the middle class to the wealthy and crushing of the unions, I saw the light. Trickle down doesn't work. When the wealthy get more money, they tend toward either conspicuous consumption or hoarding. There is not the sharing of the wealth and reinvesting of the capital as was expected. Instead of replenishing our industrial might, it was outsourced to cheaper labor markets and the middle class was ignored.

Now I'm getting angry. The Democrats won the majority in the house and the senate as well as the presidency and still they cower before the strength of the special interests. Right now is the time for us to join the other nations with a national health plan which should include a public option if not a complete one payer system, but our elected representatives are shying away from what the public needs in favor or what the special interests want. The insurance lobby and the drug lobby have poured millions and millions of dollars into the coffers of the elected officials and into television and ads trying to brainwash us all into actually believing that our broken health system is better than all the other countries in the world have come up with. We DO pay much more per capita for health care than any other country, but we do not have anywhere close to the best health than most of the industrialized countries in the world. We have people going bankrupt and dying because they cannot afford basic health care or insurance. This would not happen in most of the other industrialized countries. I guess I remember when we were among the leaders of the world. We are slipping away and will probably eventually end up second-rate with sharp divisions of the people into the wealthy and the workers. Maybe it's too late to change – our leaders are reacting to the pressure from the wealthy power and not to the wishes of the people. Shades of the Roman Empire when it was beginning to lose it's grandeur. I suppose that the United States has had it's run of power, much like Spain did and France did and Germany did and England did. It appears that China will be the next great power and we will have to give up being the king of the hill. The rich are taking their money and running to other countries now. Off shore accounts and offices in other countries are becoming the norm and we will just be the tenants to the new landlords.

I really had hopes after the last election, but it looks like everything had slipped too far down for us to stop the slide. The future will be interesting, but perhaps not as bright as the past. Depressing, isn't it?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday August 11, 2009...Thoughts about healthcare and education

I've seen major changes in the medical field during my lifetime.
When I was a child doctors still made house calls and hospitals were only used for major illness or surgery. Doctors weren't terribly rich, many lived in the same neighborhood where I grew up. Hospitals were mostly run by churches or charitable organizations. Doctor bills and hospital bills weren't something to be feared, they just had to be paid as they were needed. Health insurance didn't exist for most people at that time. In fact I never had health insurance till after my daughters were born. When my first daughter was born in 1964 the doctor's charge was $150.00 and the hospital bill for 7 days stay was $150.00. At the time, I made $475.00 per month, so it wasn't too much of a burden.
Back then, the doctor's I knew were more interested in the Hippocratic Oath and patient care than the money. It was an honorable profession and the doctor was greatly admired.

We had an adequate educational system back then too. Anyone with a high school education was capable of obtaining work and providing for their family. Our education system was among the best in the world and the education that we received prepared us for the world that existed then. We have slipped way down the ladder compared to our foreign competition. Our students lack the education that will prepare them to compete with those in other countries.

Something has gone way out of whack since then. We have people unable to afford basic medical care in our United States and the whole fabric of the medical field has become obsessed with money. Everyone is worried about everyone else filing suits against each other. We have turned away from helping others to protecting what we have. In the parable of The Good Samaritan, we have become a people matching those who passed by not wanting to become involved. We have become rude and uncaring for those who have less. It is a sad thing to see, because I remember when people were actually polite and cared about others.

At this time, with the way people and things are, I believe the only solution is to have the government involved in the providing of care and education of our people. We can see what has happened when we left it up to the conscience of the good people of this country. We now have a country of the haves and the have-nots and those with the most don't seem to want to help those with the least. Our medical system has fallen way below adequate and our educational system is slipping farther and farther below the norm. The only way we can pick ourselves up by the bootstraps is to unite behind our government and assure equal opportunity, equal education and equal medical care for all of us. Those who have more can still get more than the rest of us, because they can afford the best, but for the good of our country and our own future we need to insure that our people are healthy and educated.

I'm not one to shout and protest. I usually quietly accept the mandate of the electorate and assume that all of us are in the same boat working together. I have lately decided that this assumption is no longer accurate. We are divided and the division is widening with each year that passes and our government seems to be one of special interests and influenced too much by those interests. More and more of the quiet, silent majority of us are becoming disappointed with what has been happening and we are looking for someone who cares about us and works for us. Right now the contentious loud-mouthed wing nuts are shouting down the voices of reason and the rest of us are quietly seething.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tuesday August 4, 2009...Generations

My grandson informed me the other night that I was no longer an adult – I was now a senior. His parents are adults and he is a junior. I got the impression that he didn't believe seniors were quite aware of how the world works – that is in the realm of adults. I think he believes that seniors and juniors are about equal and should listen to the adults.

Unfortunately, much of society thinks along these same lines as they dismiss the wealth of information available from seniors who have been through the wringer and have very clear views of how to handle many of the situations that people now find themselves in. We seniors have been there and done that and have some valuable insight in how to handle a situation that may be new to the adults out there.

What do you know?
Your world was different from my world.
Your opinion doesn't carry as much weight as my attitude.

It seems that each generation must stumble it's way through the same problems that we have already passed through and won't listen to advice given from those older and more experienced. It really is a shame.