Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We The People

Americans are a funny bunch, but I suspect any native countryman can say that about their people. We are a dynamic, rebellious, innovative and prosperous people, but our story is not without its nasty realities that we seem to forget so easily.

The health care debate has been painful and not because the law is going to have problems, but because we are broken and we don't want to admit it.

How many of the 365 million (except the children who couldn't) have read the 2700 page bill as a basis of our opinion on what it will mean for us. Very few, and I am NOT one of them, but yet everyone "knows" what is going to happen. Bullshit! I supported the bill in all of its brokenness because I want to feel as though we can work on making health care less of a blight on our society and try to live better and more gently. We needed something to get the most amount of people in the game and this was the best thing I saw. The real work begins now.

I don't debate climate change responsibility, but rather I try to understand science that shows that regional climate changes from industry, agriculture, bad land use, war and other causes is having a real impact and how we could change the way we live to mitigate the problems these changes will cause. I worry that the larger debate is overshadowing these real changes and most of us are asking for them to be ignored while we fight over who is responsible for only one small part of the larger problem. More bullshit.

I hear so many complaints about our government and corporate entities and how their actions are impacting people in undesired ways. I don't hear the same people saying that they are changing their behavior to stop supporting it. We elect our government which means we have influence, but once somebody wins the real work begins. Our corporations are funded by our buying and patronage and worse yet our loans of retirement savings to fund their operations. If people won't stop doing these things then those same people must stop complaining about the impacts. They are for-profit businesses and you are handing them cash to run their businesses. The businesses in return are on the hook to YOU to get a return any way possible. Your investment didn't have a catch about what they could and couldn't do with the money.

We live in a free country where nobody wants to be told what to do, but our own personal choices don't make up the gap in responsibility for the outcome. We can't have it both ways.

We all need to promote more education and understanding about our very complex and fast moving society. My reading list includes some titles that speak volumes about how little we understand and how much we take for granted. As I continue to expand this list I am growing my potential to live more gently and help all of us move forward. I just don't want to fight with anyone about it because we don't have the time.

Bringing it like you read about!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cancer Sucks so Fight Back!

I am going to shave my head for Relay this year. Many cancer patients lose their hair due to intensive chemical and/or radioactive treatments. Seven years ago I was lucky that I did not have a treatment intense enough to lose my hair. This year I will shed my hair by choice to symbolize and support those for whom cancer has not afforded choice and the freedom to pursue a healthy life.

I am going to use this act as a symbol of the battle we fight as I raise money for this year’s event.
This year cancer is set to take over as the leading cause of death worldwide, killing more people than the active wars on our planet, disease, famine and natural disasters. Cancer is affront to freedom for every person on this planet and yet the public war on cancer does not command near enough resources.

You can act and together we will find a cure for cancer and the freedom from its scourge.
Not a scientist? Don’t worry. You represent a vital lifeline to the financial resources researchers need to find a cure. Your fundraising will find a cure for cancer.

Not a medical professional? Don’t worry. Your time and fundraising makes American Cancer Society resources available to patients and families. These resources ease suffering and provide critical services when people need them the most. Your actions help keep people and families strong and productive.

Not a politician? Don’t worry, your voice can be heard through the Cancer Action Network so your elected officials get the direction you told them you would provide them when you voted them into office. They work for you and you need to let them know what problems you want to solve.

Not wealthy? Don’t worry. You can make the most of however much you can donate with creative fundraising. Challenge your friends and family to donate by matching some part of every dollar they give. Letting them know that you have made a commitment sends a clear sign of the importance of supporting however they can. Ask them to challenge their friends as well.

Not sure where it all goes? The American Cancer Society has one of the lowest expense margins in the non-profit sector, and therefore the most of your funds raised goes to the research and programs we need it to. Over 81% of every dollar raised is directed to the mission of the American Cancer Society. Most money raised locally stays locally, neighbor helping neighbor.

Doing all of that and still want to do more? Shave your head, put up a sign, make cookies and sell them at work and get on Facebook and tell all of your friends why they need to get involved. Come up with your own creative way to get out the message. Stop making excuses and thinking one person can’t find a cure for cancer. You aren’t just one person, but if you don’t act you will be one less.

We are fighting, we will win. We MUST have hope.