Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Rant About Human Decency

Sitting at a restaurant the other night, I overheard a conversation between two men who were obviously not happy with the healthcare law or the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

They talked for a good while on this, and I didn't interject. I just sat there listening, drinking my beer and eating my penne pasta while observing the after-work discussion between these two average guys.

One made the point: "We're all human beings, and I feel bad that everyone doesn't have insurance. They should. But it's not MY responsibility to pay for them."

This comment made me cringe.

To me, that illustrates the disconnect we have as a people on this topic. We claim to be wanting what's right for our fellow human beings, but we're too selfish to pay for it. To recognize that we ALL have the duty, as fellow people, to help each other out.

At the foundation, this isn't about taxes or politics or whether one person is lazy or not and deserves to have "free" healthcare... This is about doing what's right for another human being.

A friend from Australia was visiting recently and we started talking about all this. They have universal coverage in that country. I asked whether there's any minority view or dissent, people who don't think that's what Australia should have and it should be changed. He said no, there isn't. It's not a political discussion; never has been. People just understand that it's about more than you or me, it's about all of us being healthy and helping out society in whatever way we're supposed to.

Now, I love being a resident of the United States of America. For all the jazz everyone will ever use as a reason. But we have our faults, and this debate is one of the key ones - in my honest opinion.

Too often, we can't see past our arrogance of personal freedom, and at the end of the day it too often trumps basic human decency.
I hear this regularly: Why should I have to give away my hard-earned money to someone who doesn't work?

My answer: Because it's the right thing to do. Because this country, this world, hell any community, is bigger than one person. It's about all of us. Suck it up and recognize that. And no, it's not good enough that you occasionally donate to a charity or buy someone dinner or give money at church each week.

Be a fucking human being first, before an American or a political party member or whatever other reason there may be for not doing it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Other Parts of Me - Family History

A couple years before re-focusing my personal blog on diabetes, and at a time when the Diabetes Online Community was not yet a prevalent force in my life, the history buff in me bubbled to the surface.

Family history, specifically.

It started with some holiday conversations with my in-laws in 2007, and a fascinating discussion (over coffee, of course!) about their lines beginning in northern Michigan and how my mother-in-law found some historic Civil War papers on an ancestor.

That got me hooked. I soon began my own examination into the Hoskins family tree. A subscription to Ancestry and some travels between Indiana, Michigan, and Kentucky took me to parts of my world that I'd never known before. I got a look at where I truly come from, and it was pretty exciting.

A visit to Kentucky was probably the most exciting, where my dad and I stumbled around cemeteries search for grave markers but found an actual Hoskins Road on land once owned by our ancestors back in the mid-1800s(!)