Recently I have had doubts about humanity. There have been far too many moments that make me question people’s sincerity and their supposed kindness, their ability to empathize with other humans and the whole human condition. The last two months have been a pained experience for me. Starting with an episode of ovarian torsion self-corrected, culminating in an emergency surgery to correct another episode of ovarian torsion (my ovary twisted three times, three scary, horribly painful times, and somehow through the hard work and expedited processes of two wonderful surgical professionals were they able to correct and drain the ten centimeter by ten centimeter – you read that right – cyst and I came away with a full right ovary and three scars, which, I might add, is rare), and then right when I was recovering I managed to get sick with a cold that I am still combating (with the aid of antibiotics) three weeks later. September 22nd started as the time that would test my patience and I am still riding that wave. Though the last few days have been increasingly better. Through panic and a bit of chaos, my doctor’s appointment yesterday went smoothly, being reassured that symptoms I was experiencing were a. quite normal, and b. nothing to worry about. Fear definitely took hold on Thursday night and now, two days later, recovery is progressing right on time, which definitely relieves me. Buoyant with that news, Gabriel and I went out for some beer and burgers (black bean for me) at Short’s in Iowa City last night, which for me was a huge accomplishment. It’s been too long since I have had the energy or the ability to enjoy that type of normal behavior. Even earlier this week I was able to stay up until about 9:30 PM (laugh and smirk if you will, but after the surgery, staying up until 7:30 PM was a feat for me). As health progresses in a positive direction, Gabriel and I are feeling happy and lucky.
Now you’re all wondering why I began this post the way I did, so here, I’ll tell you. The past week, well, past many weeks, there have been moments where I’ve either read or heard someone talking about various things with either government or hot button issues like gay marriage or even the mere fact that homosexuality exists. In particular, there was something I read this morning that made my mouth drop. I am just shocked at the ignorance, and not only that, but the complete disregard for the human condition as whole. I question why people who hold up Christianity as their defining quality and their moral guidance are some of the meanest people who actively exclude mass amounts of people because of who they are or their life circumstance. Didn’t Jesus preach love as a message? Then how come they are some of the most hate filled people out there putting down different, as they say, “lifestyles” than theirs? Additionally, how can they be so closed-minded to other factors in life rather than the narrow scope they see through? Not all Christians are this way, in fact many of the people I know who still take part in religion are open-minded and accepting individuals who want equal rights, but those extreme right conservatives frighten me. The ones who say, “the bible says this…” or the ones who refuse to step outside and realize that what makes this place interesting, and this life special and unique, is the vast differences and the mosaic that the world is. Not everything is perfect, not everything fits into a box, and there are some truly terrifying things, but there are also amazing things, like San Francisco teaming together to give a five-year old cancer survivor a dream come true. Why can’t that empathy translate to other scopes of life? Why does someone have to be dying for compassion to exist on such a wide scale? Everyone deserves the chance for a smile, a reassuring nod, a positive affirmation, and believe me, I realize there are truly horrific things out there like mass murders and pedophiles, individuals who make even the most forgiving person turn away, but we need to focus on the positives, not the negatives. We need to realize the glass is half full. (This reminds me of the profile picture of one of Gabriel’s brothers, where there is a cup that is half full and the quotation around it is that the glass is always half full because air consumes the other space; it’s such a positive thought.)
The other thing that has got on my nerves is all the slanderous talk about Obamacare ruining this country; how it is, and I am using a statement from Tea Party members, the worst thing this country has been through (really, slavery, the Civil War, Chinese internment camps, Pearl Harbor, any of those ring a bell?). I don’t know how universal healthcare is negative. Sure, we’ve had issues with the roll out, but the ignorance on what Obamacare consists of is driving me bonkers. You can opt out and shop for private insurance, though most likely it will be more expensive than what Obamacare can offer. You can, in fact, not choose to have health insurance, though there is a tax penalty. If you have insurance through your employer, you need not worry about getting insurance through Obamacare. Additionally, how can you be so damned close minded and selfish to not realize that universal health care helps the people who would otherwise be buried in mountains of debt because of emergency situations (LIKE THE ONE I HAD). Luckily I have health insurance through my employer, and even though I will be paying upwards of $3,000.00 for what I went through, if I didn’t have health insurance I would be buried in debt until I die. Thousands upon thousands of dollars. How is it ruining this country by offering people who normally could not afford insurance the possibility to not be consumed with medical bills and debt? Isn’t that what compassion and empathy are about? Additionally, the program will become better with numbers. Haven’t we learned that in basic math and principles? You have one toothpick and you can break it, but you put ten together and it becomes impenetrable. This concept works in this case, too.
And for those people who make ridiculous comments about having to offer birth control options, just realize that birth control has many medical uses other than prevention of pregnancy. For example, girls ages twelve to fifteen are put on it to help control acne. Imagine the self-esteem saved by providing that option. I am on it because it is ceasing ovulation and preventing me from creating more of these dangerous cysts that have already left me with one ovary (and hopefully will prevent me from having damage in the future, or more very scary and painful emergency situations that can include complications and death). You say it is against religion because it prevents the conception of a child, and that is against what the bible says sexual relations are about? You know what else prevents conception but does not prevent sexual relations? NOT HAVING OVARIES. But here’s the funny thing, BIRTH CONTROL OFFERS ME THE OPTION TO HAVE CHILDREN later in life. Ironic, no? Realize that the narrow minded vision of MEN who wrote the bible years and years and years ago cannot translate LITERALLY into modern day. It is a moral compass, not the end all be all of human existence. (I know I am getting preachy, but after having experienced what I did these past two months, to hear and read ignorant comments like I have, I literally get enraged at the narrow minded, self-absorbed crap that comes out of some people’s heads and mouths.)
I can go on and on about the conservative right’s desire to cut social programs like food stamps (which they have successfully done) because they believe the stereotype of the welfare queen, often black, depicted by Reagan in the 1980s (and here is the kicker, statistics show that more white individuals use the welfare program than black, and in fact less than 1% of users abuse the system). Rather than taxing those who can afford it they propose bills and laws that diminish the social programs that can help those in poverty. Additionally they refuse to see that those who don’t have jobs are not employed (well, not all) not because of laziness but because the economy is in desperate need of revamping. I was without a job for over a year because the job market was not there. I couldn’t even get a position at the local Starbucks in Davis, CA because there was no room for employment, not because I didn’t have the qualifications or desire. When the job market severely lacks, those who have motivation and credentials can’t even get positions, let alone circumstances disallowing people to work because outside forces. When you are born into a rich white family it’s stupid not to realize that you have more opportunities open to you than any other economic or racial standing. Some people rise in the ranks of society through hard work, but if books like Outliers teaches us anything, LUCK plays a very important role in that ability. I don’t want to see some Fox News asshole giving the example of when he was young and worked two jobs as the answer to poverty. When inflation occurs and the minimum wage does not reflect said inflation, no amount of hours put in can actually overcome the level of poverty created. Two jobs at minimum wage still cannot, in many states, rise above cost of living. How can cutting programs like welfare benefit anyone, then? And don’t tell me that saying about how if you teach a man to fish he can feed himself for life. If you reform education, maybe we can all be taught how to fish, because education is expensive as shit and automatically excludes mass amounts of the population because they cannot afford it or they are working their two minimum wage jobs and do not have the time. Cutting costs of government can occur in positive ways that don’t automatically screw over millions of people while simultaneously benefit those rich WASP types that can afford Dior heels and Louis Vuitton bags. If you can toss millions of dollars to political ideologies and parties, pull your head out of your A and realize that those millions can be put to use in positive and beneficial ways, for everyone, not just your buddies. Money talks (as we know from the Koch brothers), so make it say something positive. Don’t shut down government because you want to cry over something that can benefit a larger population. And don’t sit there and say “no one helped me” because ten bucks says Mommy and Daddy paid for stuff when growing up, and yes, that Ivey League education was not free, and even if you did get scholarships or grants, that money comes from someone, like the government or some generous soul. YOU WERE IN FACT HELPED, so don’t stand there with your stuck up attitude and remark on how you did it all on your own.
And now that I have officially gotten all this off my chest, and probably alienated a few people (I do apologize, but I just read all of your conclusions and statements, so here is my opportunity to respond, though I must admit I probably could have done it in a more constructive way), I will leave you with this sentiment: if you want to see change in this world, be the change. Donate to causes you love, speak out against things you think need revamping, don’t just bitch and complain and not act. No amount of verbal discourse will create the change, action does. That being said, yes, I am not a hypocrite, I actually donate to causes and offer my services. In fact, I had a job that advocated for a non-profit. Some times the first thing you need to do is educate yourself. It’s a wonderful experience to open up your eyes for the first time and see things through a new light. It’s spiritual. I invite you to do that.