A national health care bill is due for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives today. The bill would bring insurance to millions who don't currently have it, bar insurance companies from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, and cost almost a trillion dollars over a decade ... the same decade in which it is projected to save $138 billion on the federal deficit.
The news stories about this end-game are muddied with words like "rare" and "historic" ... a sure sign that everyone is tired of the topic. It has been hard to turn on the TV news without hearing yet another 'expert' dissect one important aspect or another of this important issue. And no matter how concise and thoughtful and well-informed the dissection, still the viewer is left feeling s/he doesn't really have a clear, clean grasp of what is going on. The desire to get re-elected, corporate and individual greed, belief systems and a host of other competing interests make it all but impossible to get a handle on things.
As yet another nitwit in front of a television screen filled with what seem like other nitwits, I boil it down in my mind to something manageably bite-sized ... people get sick, no one wants to get sick, and whose money is it that allows our 'representatives' to posture and pose and 'get things done?' True, corporations buy a great many politicians, but who creates the money that allows them to make such purchases? Who does the work? As I say, another nitwit oversimplification that clarifies little or nothing.
Winston Churchill observed, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the rest."
And perhaps the same could be said for spiritual-endeavor formats. Like communism, they start out with marvelous and kindly promises, but the devil is in the details and what was over-archingly kind and thoughtful has every capacity to harden into self-serving unkindness....
But what other choice is there? Without addressing the down-and-dirty details, what chance is there to see things clearly and to clear up the matter of nitwit-dom? Without discipline, where is there any honest ease? The endless reassertion of lofty goals can hardly match the practical wonders of burning the toast. Believers and non-believers are faced with the same conundrum -- burned toast ... life as it actually arises moment after moment. Philosophy and religion can go suck and egg.
The only way out of the difficulties and delights that life poses -- or anyway the only one I can see -- is in. Pick a format in the sure and certain knowledge that no one can format life and then follow it to the ends of the universe ... no holding back, no being deterred and never mind what anyone else is saying or doing.
If you're rich, it happens.
If you're poor, it happens.
If you're single, it happens.
If you're married, it happens.
If you're convinced, it happens.
If you're confused, it happens.
If you're Christian, it happens.
If you're Buddhist, it happens.
If you're young, it happens.
If you're old, it happens.
If the toast burns, it happens.
The only question is -- what happens?