Voices Whose Tone Is Neither “Healthy” Nor “Caring”

That post about a manifesto will have to wait for a little bit. This comes to my attention at the moment. Now, I almost never talk about politics, and really this article isn’t even about that, either, but rather, the response to politics. That’s what bothers me.

So healthcare reform and all that stuff. Friends and strangers alike have been very quick to offer their opinion on this, which is why I didn’t want to write about healthcare because who cares about one more opinion on that? Rather, the opinions themselves are what intrigue me, and not just that, but also the manner in which they are written, blogged, posted, etc. So many people are upset. But the way in which they express their disdain upsets me. Consider this my plea to them.

Now, can people be upset? Sure, but please do not lose your credibility in the process. That goes out the window so quickly when you intentionally avoid being respectful, polite, and loving. You can even share your attitude of dismay—though that is a strong word (almost too strong, I think)—but do not offer it with the hopes of exacting some sort of attack on the side with which you disagree. Instead, also stop for a moment and maybe even try to rejoice with those who have gotten something that they’ve been wanting for so very long. No, I’m not referring to politicians who wear suits and have nice houses and security detail. I mean the families that are just struggling to survive and have been without healthcare for a long time. That’s right. Celebrate with them. A lot of people want this healthcare to pass—a lot of average people worse off than you, a lot of non-politicians—a fact that can be hard to come by if all you watch is Fox News. For a lot of people, though, this bill will do some good. Rejoice with them.

Or is that so hard to do? Because I don’t hear it happening. Instead, I hear people whining about how much bad it’s going to cause them; I hear them wanting to speak up for themselves and the damage it will do to them. Do you realize how selfish that is? Or if you’re so wrapped up in your best interests and so much of a pessimist that you can’t admit that some good can come from this, then maybe America is not for you. Because people throw up their hands when Congress makes yet another decision that does not suit them, as if every single person in the nation should be satisfied with each choice. It’s like there’s this impression that such a thing has occurred before in the past, and we’re just biding our time waiting for it to happen again. Please…such a thing has never taken place. Why do we act so disgruntled when it fails yet again to come about?

What disturbs me more is what would’ve happened if this bill hadn’t passed. All of these people that were whining yesterday, are whining today, and will whine tomorrow would be instead celebrating, exultant, and altogether giddy with their “victory,” and I’m not sure any of them would be simultaneously giving a thought to those on the other side who would be downtrodden at their loss. Judging by the emotional tinge in the internet opinions I’m reading, I highly doubt that they would show care and concern for the other side then since they aren’t now. In fact, I wonder if they would say, “Well, they got what they deserve.” I hope they wouldn’t.

And so what measures like these do is remove the humanity from the other side. We get so wrapped up and so passionate about the measure being set forth in our government that we forget that we are railing against and jeering human beings who have emotions and feelings and hurts. This is why I hate politics. Too often it gets people riled up to where they forget the humanity of the people against whom they’ve pitted themselves. (Some of you will say this is the very thing the healthcare bill does: dehumanizes people. If your support for this statement is the “death panels,” I’ll go ahead and tell you right now that I will probably ignore such an uninformed comment.)

I am not saying the healthcare plan is good. I am not saying the healthcare plan is bad. I will say this: I want healthcare. Do I want it mandated and government-controlled? I don’t know. But will I sit here and pretend that nothing good—zero, nada, zip—will come from it? No. I’m not that pessimistic. I’m not that doom-and-gloom.

There is always good in a situation, and if you’re too lazy to look for it and instead are fit to just complain about our nation, you can move, you know. Go to one of our neighboring countries. Go overseas. You may say, “No, that’s a copout!” Ah, I agree; that is a copout. You may say, “I need to stay here and exert my freedoms and share my voice,” to which I would still agree. But the second you act selfish and get angry—and then, by the way, go to church on Sunday and profess a faith of love and putting others before yourself—then I do have a problem. You whine about the government misrepresenting her people, but do your words and actions and emotions post-healthcare reform misrepresent Christ? I am no judge and sit on no throne, but dialogue from people (some of whom I know identify themselves as people of faith) has not been encouraging.

People, we are better than that.

To do “everything without complaining or arguing” encompasses every aspect of your life, political leanings included. So to those of you whining: you didn’t get your way, and I’m sorry that’s the case. I really am. But that does not mean you now have license to spout off in a righteous rage. And for those of you in the Church especially, you are held to a higher standard than that—a standard that acknowledges that at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the day, God still sits on his throne, that he has made all things good, and that he will make all things new one day. With that in mind, you have no excuse for pessimism, my friend. And by being a downer, you will not change anyone around you. In fact, people will be repulsed by you and increase the distance between you and them. That…that is unacceptable.

I wish we lived in a perfect world where we could all be satisfied with the decisions being made in our government, but sadly we do not. And having established that fact, do not sulk in it and do not dwell in it. But you take your chips where they fall and work with what you have. And if “working with what you have” meanings entering your voice into the political fray, hey…by all means, do it. But do it respectfully. Do it politely. Do it in a way that doesn’t complain and whine and gripe. Do it in a way so that the people with whom you debate and discuss have no question in their minds that, though you disagree them, you do love them sacrificially. And so stop right now and examine whether or not your words avoid grumbling and whether or not they communicate a sentiment of love and ask people around you to tell you what they observe and if they think your words do express such love. I desperately hope that both you and they come to find that the answer is, “Yes, my words do.”

Much love.

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