Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ranting about healthcare

I've been wondering if I have been obsessed lately with reading the news about the healthcare debate possibly because i'm displacing my responsibility about what really needs to happen with MY health. I've lowered my standards from even just reading the news to reading the comments about the news. To be honest about the health care bill, I want something that perhaps I don't understand in its entirety to happen because I feel like it'll make a lot of things ok. Maybe I'll worry less if it passes, maybe I'll go to the dentist more or the doctor more and be overall more preventative about a natural disaster that could happen to my body.

But there could be something sinister about it all too, would this give me less pause to consider the conditions of another person's life who has less than me? Would I pronounce that someone who doesn't take care of themselves is more proven to be ignorant because the healthcare is free and they could just as easily as me go and get help, but they won't, and they can only blame themselves?

Today I was having conversations with Rachel and Corrie about things seemingly unrelated, but related in that we were questioning what is at the core of the issues of our day that we rally behind? Stemming from how recycling and yoga is the beginning of creating a sense of community and slowing down we began to talk about what is environmentalism today really about (the conversation we had was about can we really curb consumption or are we doomed to employ some kind of overall band-aid). The conversations kept going between Rachel and Corrie and I stepped away for a second to watch a TED talk since Corrie had never ventured into that amazingly quick inspiring online world. I stumbled upon one about how does one nurture creativity. Elizabeth Gilbert's talk had this kind of tension throughout that was either because she had to cram pearls of wisdom into 18 minutes or because she really was in the moment struggling with trying to fend off the feelings of expectations from other people and herself of not being able to out do herself from her last 'freakishly popular book'. Her talk reminded me of how sometimes I displace my moments of 'genius' to reconciling it as being part of instinct, but not instinct from within, but instinct as a state of being that is in flux, one that can be nurtured as she said.

"Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work." - Rita Mae Brown

As we teach in education, you can practice to be able to do genius things more often but you won't always be a genius without practicing new challenging tasks that are just difficult enough, oh yeah, and doing so makes you happy. It's called flow.

Which brings me to the matter at hand. Flow is considered the psychological definition of happiness. (See: Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) And that's what missing from all debates that wrings it away from what I believe could be real change.

At least once each season each year, I would preach the importance of happiness. Even before I went to therapy and thought about other lessons I had to learn about myself, about how what is possibly most important is to know how to gain perspective, how to let go so you no longer judge yourself and remind yourself of how lucky you are that you have close people in your life that will never judge you because they like you who you are, regardless of what happens. I used to tell everyone that what was most important was happiness, and that if everyone had to go through some form of therapy with someone that they could trust and could just talk and talk and talk, there would be a new kind of normalcy, a healthy one, where people remember to work on being happier, and knowing how they are important and reflect on what has been good to them and what really bothers them, and where does that come from.

Can you imagine a world where everyone goes to therapy as if it's as normal as going to church and they get something out of it that they don't think twice about, because everyone goes to therapy.

And so back to the health debate. I get so caught up in the idea that there are two sides that I remember that everything has an issue that really does bother me in the mix, and the solution to it is usually the most difficult task that must be adopted on such a wide scale and on a personal level that it has more to do with a change in philosophy than a change in power. I want mental health for all, and doing what makes me happy is what I can do to promote what I believe is the most necessary change. It's something within my means, and at times is more difficult than I can describe to someone who believes that being an artist is exactly as it looks. Today, for probably about 8 hours I sat on a computer, surfing the internet, and now I feel like I figured out why.

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Other debates that can be boiled down to more important matters:
Pro-choice vs. pro-life, why are there so many unwanted pregnancies in the first place? Maybe abstinence isn't exactly the answer but why do we stress that we can change the world by deciding for others how they should deal with a personal nature that is in my mind an afterthought. We argue about something that has already happened, of course the debate will be heated, the point where you could keep a debate from happening is over. So there's that instead of stressing the importance of having sex with people you really care about, which I think it comes down to a matter of happiness again.

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